Helldivers 2

Helldivers 2 Studio Names New CEO, Johan Pilestedt Steps Down From The Position to Focus On Creating Games

It looks like Helldivers 2 developer, Arrowhead is shuffling its deck a bit as it has announced a new CEO, Shams Jorjani, according to GamesIndustry.biz.

The move will see the studio’s founder, Johan Pilestedt step down from the position which will help him put his focus on what matters to him, creating games like supporting Helldivers 2 or something new rather than leading and managing the team on the business side of things. This year has been Arrowhead’s year so far after the successful launch of Helldivers 2 on PC and PS5 consoles which led to the game selling 12 million copies and more impressively becoming one of PlayStation’s fastest-selling titles.

“I’ve been thinking about the journey ahead for Arrowhead, the future games we’re going to be making, and running the organization beyond the 120 or so developers we have currently. I realized that running an organization of over 100 people to however large it is going to get… it means I will [have to choose] between deepening my love for game creation, or the business track,” Pilestedt said in an interview with GameIndustry.Biz.

“Over the last year going to the 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 business but also myself. So I reached out to Shams. We had lunch, and we asked him if I was to reconsider running Arrowhead for the next decade, and [if] I needed to hire a new CEO, would he be interested?”

All things considered, Jorjani looks like he fits the Helldivers 2 developer leadership role as he’s held a lot of positions during his time at the Stockholm, Sweden-based indie publisher Paradox Interactive from 2009 through 21. He started out as a producer and climbed all the way up to chief business development officer where he helped publish some notable games including Crusader Kings III, Cities: Skyline, and more.

“What I’ll be bringing to the table is organization and leadership. What I did at Paradox, where I joined as the 23rd person and then helped grow the company into the behemoth it was… it was about organization, leadership and business focus. It’s a lot of the, frankly, boring business administration stuff that is a necessary part of running a company, which is hard to do when you’re also juggling the chairman’s hat and the creative director’s hat and also being the one who is in the trenches doing a lot of the designing that Johan has been doing over the years,” Jorjani said in an interview with GameIndustry.Biz.

“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. So the question is how do we set Johan and the team up to get to that [more consistently], rather than skill plus luck plus happenstance… all the things that led us here? Bethesda has Todd Howard, Kojima Productions has Kojima, Remedy has Sam Lake… but when you ask who is running these companies, who is the CEO or managing director… you can’t name the humble servant [laughs] behind the scenes.”