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Arrowhead CEO steps down to focus more on developing Helldivers 2

A soldier in silhouette in Helldivers 2.
Arrowhead Game Studios

Helldivers 2 developer Arrowhead Game Studios has a new CEO. Shams Jorjani, a former Paradox Interactive executive, will be stepping into the role, while former CEO Johan Pilestedt will focus more on developing the company’s flagship title Helldivers 2.

“I am taking the role of chief creative officer, which means I will spend MORE time with the team and 100% of my focus on the games and community!” Pilestedt wrote on X (formerly Twitter).

Hey everyone,

Big update, I've decided to hire @ShamsJorjani as the new CEO of @ArrowheadGS! We go way back and I wouldn't trust the business in any other hands than his. (…and he comes with an impressive resume and love for games)

But what about me and my involvement in…

— Pilestedt (@Pilestedt) May 22, 2024

Pilestedt has been a constant presence on X for the Helldivers community since the PlayStation-published title launched in February. He’s always been pretty open about the development process and has played along with Helldivers 2’s Super Earth propaganda. That remained true after the announcement, as he responded to user comments about what could be improved with the game.

One user posted about how Pilestedt should start making armor with “interesting stats” and improve the guns in future Warbonds. Pilestedt said he agreed “on all points.”

Players have been generally disgruntled about the state of the game over the last few weeks. Beyond the backlash to PlayStation requiring a PSN account to play the game on PC (the publisher has since backtracked on the decision), players have been frustrated by certain decisions, along with the recent Polar Patriot Warbond. When asked about implementing player feedback, Pilestedt said he also wanted to get more developers playing the game. “It’s hard to make the right decisions if the eyes aren’t on the road,” he wrote.

In an interview with, he spoke more about wanting to get back into the creative side of game development, and how the success of Helldivers 2 and the expansion of the studio was going to get in the way of that.

“Over the last year going to launch of Helldivers 2, I’ve been pulled more towards the business side of things, and not able to focus as much on the creative side. That made me realize I needed to make some decisions, both for the success of the busines,s but also myself,” he said.

In the same interview, Jorjani added that he wanted to support Pilestedt in making games beyond just Helldivers 2. “When you’re talking to creatives like Johan, it’s not like he wants to retire. Helldivers 2 isn’t the highlight of his career. Hopefully, it’s the fourth-best game he ever makes.”

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Carli Velocci
Carli is a technology, culture, and games editor and journalist. They were the Gaming Lead and Copy Chief at Windows Central…
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