Helldivers 2's engine was "discontinued" 6 years ago: "Our crazy engineers had to do everything, with no support"

Helldivers 2
(Image credit: Arrowhead Game Studios)

Helldivers 2 is the new must-play shooter in town, and it turns out the engine it was built on is already extinct. 

As spotted by 80 Level, Arrowhead Game Studios used a relatively unknown Swedish game engine, Autodesk Stingray, to make Helldivers 2. Previously known as Bitsquid, this also powered the first Helldivers and was officially discontinued in 2018.

Responding to 80 Level's article on Twitter, creative director and Arrowhead CEO Johan Pilestedt confirmed that the team did, in fact, build its latest game using an engine that effectively no longer exists, and explained the difficulties that arose as a result. "This is true," he says. "Our crazy engineers had to do everything, with no support to build the game to parity with other engines."

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He adds that the team had already begun to create Helldivers 2 using Autodesk Stingray before it was no more. "And yes. The project started before it was discontinued," he writes.

As well as Helldivers, Autodesk Stingray was used to bring various Warhammer games to life, including Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide, its 2018 sequel Vermintide 2, and Warhammer 40k: Darktide.

Now in the hands of players, Helldivers 2 has proven to be so popular it's managed to surpass the PC concurrent player numbers of heavyweights like Destiny 2 and GTA 5. Arrowhead has admitted it's "struggling to keep up" with the game's colossal player count and has repeatedly been raising the player cap to help with server stability.

In our Helldivers 2 review, we found the game to be a "fiercely challenging and visually breathtaking cooperative shooter where failure is funny and success feels magnificent," though "there's a sense the game's full potential is yet to be realized."

Helldivers 2 isn't just good co-op, it's a masterclass in designing comedy games.

Anne-Marie Ostler
Freelance Writer

Originally from Ireland, I moved to the UK in 2014 to pursue a Games Journalism and PR degree at Staffordshire University. Following that, I've freelanced for GamesMaster, Games TM, Official PlayStation Magazine and, more recently, Play and GamesRadar+. My love of gaming sprang from successfully defeating that first Goomba in Super Mario Bros on the NES. These days, PlayStation is my jam. When not gaming or writing, I can usually be found scouring the internet for anything Tomb Raider related to add to my out of control memorabilia collection.