Johan Pilestedt, the creative director of Helldivers 2 and outgoing CEO of Arrowhead, has expressed his ambitious vision for the future of the studio. In an interview with GamesIndustry, Pilestedt revealed his desire for Arrowhead to become the next FromSoftware or Blizzard, specifically pointing towards the pre-2004 era of Blizzard as his inspiration. With the announcement of Shams Jorjani as the new CEO of Arrowhead, Pilestedt believes that the studio has the potential to soar to new heights and achieve greater recognition in the gaming industry.

Pilestedt’s reference to pre-2004 Blizzard is significant, considering the recent controversies surrounding Activision Blizzard. The lawsuit and settlement related to allegations of sexual harassment and toxic work culture have tarnished the reputation of the once-revered gaming company. By distancing Arrowhead from the negative aspects associated with a large corporate structure and public trading, Jorjani aims to maintain a focus on creative freedom and a positive work environment. This approach aligns with Pilestedt’s vision of creating a studio known for its innovative game development and community engagement.

Despite the success of Helldivers 2, Pilestedt acknowledges the challenges that come with achieving widespread acclaim. The influx of new players and fans has led to an increase in negative interactions within the community, with Pilestedt referring to these individuals as “shitty.” Jorjani emphasizes the importance of fostering a positive and inclusive community, where players feel empowered to self-moderate and engage in constructive dialogue. As Arrowhead continues to grow and attract a larger audience, managing toxicity within the community will be crucial for sustaining long-term success.

Jorjani’s approach to community management involves providing players with tools to communicate effectively and respectfully. By encouraging open dialogue and collaboration, Arrowhead aims to create a welcoming environment for all players, regardless of their gaming background or experience. The goal is to empower the community to self-regulate and address toxic behavior, ensuring that the positive aspects of the gaming experience are not overshadowed by negativity.

Arrowhead Studios is poised to embark on a new chapter in its development, guided by the ambitious vision of Johan Pilestedt and the leadership of Shams Jorjani. By drawing inspiration from the creative freedom of studios like FromSoftware and the early days of Blizzard, Arrowhead aims to carve out its own path in the gaming industry. With a focus on community engagement, innovation, and maintaining a positive work culture, Arrowhead is setting the stage for future success and recognition as a leading game development studio.

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