Helldivers Joel is the Gamemaster who controls your fate.


Helldivers Joel: All You Need to Know About the Gamemaster

Nutan Lele
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Helldivers 2's popularity stays strong even weeks after the game's release.
The gamemaster controls the player's in-game experience on a macro level.
Helldivers Joel is the Gamemaster who controls your fate.

Helldivers 2 is a newly-launched, third-person shooter which sees the elite forces of the Helldivers battling to win an intergalactic struggle to rid the galaxy of the rising alien threats. The game’s captivating lore has raised many questions among fans including, who is Joel and what role does he play in Helldivers 2? As revealed in an interview to PC Gamer, Joel is a real person who serves as gamemaster for Helldivers 2.

Who is Helldivers Joel?

Joel is the Helldiver 2 gamemaster, responsible for the dynamic warfront featured in the game. Johan Pilestedt, CEO of Arrowhead Game Studios the developer behind Helldivers 2, stated to PC Gamer, “We have an actual person with the job title of Game Master”. Pilestedt also mentions, “We have a lot of systems built into the game where the Game Master has a lot of control over the play experience. It's something that we're continuously evolving based on what's happening in the game."

In the same interview, Pilestedt stated that the game takes heavy inspiration from tabletop D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) campaigns saying, “It's the same format when you build that for millions of players, it's just that you can't get as personal with every individual. But you can still do the same twists and turns." These twists and turns keep the game competitive, with Joel sometimes having to increase automaton difficulty so that players take longer to liberate an area. Talking about this Pilestedt said, “There have been some sudden moments where maybe one planet was too easy or one was too hard and [Joel] had to get up in the middle of the night to give the Automatons a bit of reinforcements so the players don't take [the planet] too quickly.”

As to how this massive ‘campaign’ ends, Arrowhead says it has “predictions” of how the game will play out, however, a lot of it will depend on the players and Joel himself. 

The success of Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 has managed to beat a common phenomenon where sales fall after a few weeks of a game’s release. According to a paper by Engelstätter and Ward (2016), game sales and duration of game play are highest the week it is released with the duration of play for a specific game falling by about 10%% each subsequent week.

Helldivers 2 managed to beat the sales decay curve most new releases follow.

Despite server issues caused by an influx of players trying to get a piece of the action early during the release, Helldivers 2 has managed to beat this, racking up 3 million sales, according to Pilestedt.

The developers have been hard at work weeding out bugs and other issues plaguing the game. Helldivers 2 was well received on Steam, currently sitting at a “Very Positive”. 

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Nutan is experienced with content across various FPS, MOBA, and BR titles for both PC and mobile gaming. Basically, she's a Jill of all trades. As the former captain of an all-woman esports team, her roots lie firmly in PC gaming but she does enjoy that one map in Call of Duty: Mobile.

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