logo80lv
Articlesclick_arrow
Professional Services
Research
Talentsclick_arrow
Events
Workshops
Aboutclick_arrow
Order outsourcing
Advertiseplayer
profile_loginLogIn

Helldivers II Was Built on an Archaic Engine That You Can't Access Anymore

One of 2024's most renowned games has proven that even discontinued software can be employed to create something stunning.

Image Credit: Arrowhead Game Studios, Helldivers II

Every once in a while, we witness artists and game creators diverging from mainstream development software, choosing to replace common tools like Unity and Unreal Engine with obscure applications rarely seen in use. It appears that Arrowhead Game Studios was one such developer, who, as recently discovered, employed a dead engine that you can no longer access to power their sensational third-person shooter – Helldivers II.

Brought to our attention by Lead Game Developer Andy Touch, it turns out that the second installment in the Helldivers series is powered by the same engine as the original 2015 game, with that being Bitsquid, known in its later years as Autodesk Stingray.

Built with support for the most popular PC, console, and mobile platforms in mind, Bitsquid was utilized in the creation of various games, including Escape Dead Island, Hamilton's Great Adventure, Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, Warhammer: Vermintide 2, and, as mentioned above, the original Helldivers. Following its acquisition by Maya and 3ds Max developer Autodesk in 2014, the engine was integrated into the company's game development toolkit and renamed Autodesk Stingray.

While on the surface, it seems like a good idea to leverage the same software for both the original game and its sequel, the thing you need to know about Autodesk Stingray is that it has been discontinued since 2018. Consequently, it has not received any updates in the past six years and has been officially declared dead by its developers.

As Andy noted, there's a strong possibility that Helldivers II entered production before the discontinuation of the engine, which likely prompted Arrowhead to take matters into their own hands and enhance the software themselves, molding it into the tool they needed instead of abandoning their progress.

Image Credit: Arrowhead Game Studios, Helldivers II

This situation underscores the fact that even discontinued software can be utilized to create something extraordinary. And create something extraordinary Arrowhead did. In less than two weeks, Helldivers 2 astounded hundreds of thousands of players, swiftly becoming this year's second gaming sensation and joining Palworld in the list of top contenders for Game of the Year 2024.

The game's concurrent user count continues to soar, breaking records daily and currently standing at an impressive 456,000 players. It now holds the 20th position on the SteamDB chart of most concurrently played titles, surpassing heavyweights like GTA V and Among Us.

The game's success has been so immense that its developers openly and honestly advise purchasing Helldivers 2 at a different time, as it is currently plagued with server issues due to the overwhelming number of players it has to accommodate all at once.

Image Credit: Arrowhead Game Studios, Helldivers II

Play Helldivers II here and don't forget to join our 80 Level Talent platform and our Telegram channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter, and LinkedIn, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more.

Join discussion

Comments 6

  • Annie Ayuwoki

    Tho on media popularity may look like the driving criteria, it's not the only driving factor.

    Optimization, Features and Bug² free, should be the first top 3, as hype come and go and has high chance comes from nostalgia or FOTM.

    ²atleast most, if not all critical bugs.

    0

    Annie Ayuwoki

    ·3 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    A  vast amount of the Japanese software I've worked on used Hot Soup, which didn't even reach the 2000s, "if it works" indeed
    don't ever ask what your BANKS are using if you still wish to sleep at night, for that matter.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·4 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    To the guy saying software being out of support is a recent thing; no it is not. Especially with software that communicates over networks which could just be a security liability.

    "if it works it works" is terrible advice from a software engineering point of view. Sure i do get the sentiment and for a lot of software that is the case but with something like this you can't just apply the same logic.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·5 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    It's a relatively recent thing -- probably since our smartphones and Windows PCs began pushing updates on us without our consent -- to even conceive of software as being "discontinued" (rather than simply out of support). But good software doesn't stop working simply because a useless non-"update" hasn't been pushed in the last 20 minutes.

    I use tools and frameworks that were "finished" 20 years ago or more and haven't been touched since. If it works, it works.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·5 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    Respectfully you are missing Warhammer40k: Darktide from the list of Stingray games. Fatshark are also carrying the Stingray flag still :)

    I like the sentiment of the article though, it's not the engine but what the developer does with it that matters.

    Huge congrats to Arrowhead for their accomplishment.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·5 months ago·
  • Anonymous user

    I'm sorry, but I don't think popularity should immediately make a game considered "game of the year" status. That is an award given for high quality, and while Palworld may be fun and incredibly popular, it's also extremely buggy and literally unfinished. Helldivers 2 is wonderful, and what Arrowhead accomplished with the engine is extremely impressive, but if it's GOTY material, it's because of the tight design, great audio, and extreme fun. Not just because it's popular.

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·5 months ago·

You might also like

We need your consent

We use cookies on this website to make your browsing experience better. By using the site you agree to our use of cookies.Learn more