Helldivers 2 Controversy: IGN Accused of Spreading Misinformation About Microtransactions


The gaming industry thrives on trust between developers, publishers, and reviewers. When a major publication like IGN publishes misleading information, it can create unnecessary negativity and erode that trust. This is exactly what happened recently with IGN’s coverage of the upcoming game Helldivers 2.

IGN’s Misleading Microtransaction Claims

In an attempt to generate controversy, IGN published an article accusing Helldivers 2 of employing a predatory microtransaction system. The article claimed that players could purchase weapons and equipment that grant an unfair advantage in missions using real money through a system called Warband.

This accusation sparked outrage among fans of the Helldivers franchise. They pointed out that IGN’s claims were demonstrably false. Here’s why:

Warbond Doesn’t Offer Direct Advantage: In Helldivers 2, Warbond is a currency used to acquire cosmetic items and consumables. These items do not provide any gameplay advantage over other players.

Super Credits Found In-Game: The article claimed that Warbond could only be purchased with real money. However, players can earn Super Credits, the currency used to buy Warbond, by completing missions within the game. This eliminates the need to spend real money entirely.

Warbond Equipment Requires Medals: Even if players choose to use Warbond, the equipment it offers can only be purchased with medals earned through successful mission completion. This ensures that skill and dedication, not real-money purchases, are the key to acquiring powerful equipment.

IGN’s Backtracking and Public Embarrassment

Following the swift backlash from the gaming community, IGN removed the link to the article from their social media channels. However, this attempt to downplay the situation only backfired. Social media users pointed out the removal as evidence of IGN’s attempt to hide their misleading claims.

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IGN then re-posted the article, but the damage was already done. Savvy gamers exposed IGN’s lack of research and their willingness to spread misinformation to potentially generate clicks.

Why Does This Matter?

This incident highlights a concerning trend in games journalism. Some publications prioritize sensational headlines and controversy over accurate information. This not only misleads readers but also hurts the gaming industry as a whole.

Here’s why IGN’s actions are problematic:

Erodes Trust in Reviews: When a major publication like IGN publishes false information, it undermines the credibility of all game reviews. Readers become unsure of who to trust for accurate information.

Hurts Developers and Publishers: Unfounded accusations about microtransactions can discourage potential players and damage the reputation of developers who have implemented fair monetization systems.

Misinforms Gamers: Gamers rely on reviews to make informed decisions about their purchases. Misleading information can lead to disappointment and wasted money.

What Can Be Done?

To ensure a healthy gaming ecosystem, here’s what needs to happen:

Hold Reviewers Accountable: Gamers should hold reviewers accountable for spreading misinformation. This can be done by calling out false claims on social media and supporting publications with a strong track record of journalistic integrity.

Demand Transparency: Developers and publishers should be transparent about their monetization practices. This includes clearly outlining what content is available for purchase and how it impacts gameplay.

Support Quality Journalism: Gamers should actively seek out reviews from publications known for their in-depth research, unbiased opinions, and commitment to factual information.


Q: Does Helldivers 2 have microtransactions?

A: Yes, Helldivers 2 offers microtransactions for purchasing cosmetic items and consumables. However, these purchases do not provide any gameplay advantage.

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Q: Can I win in Helldivers 2 without spending real money?

A: Absolutely. You can earn Super Credits through gameplay to acquire Warbond, the currency used for cosmetic purchases. Additionally, all equipment that affects gameplay can be obtained using medals earned in-game.

Q: Why did IGN make false claims about Helldivers 2?

A: The reasons behind IGN’s actions are unclear. It’s possible they were trying to generate controversy to attract readers.

Q: What should I do if I see misleading information about a game?

A: If you encounter misleading information about a game, do your research! Look for reviews from trusted sources and compare them to the information you’ve seen elsewhere. Additionally, consider contacting the publication directly to point out any inaccuracies.