Payday 3 developer seeks long-term success after disappointing launch

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Following a rocky launch, Payday 3 developer Starbreeze said its sales and player activity are «currently at significantly lower levels than [it] would like». However, the studio hopes to turn this around in the future, stating it will focus efforts «to ensure that the game lives up to expectations» for players.

The developer noted there have been other examples of games that have successfully turned a «problematic initial time on the market» into a «long-term success» story. While Starbreeze did not mention any names, Cyberpunk 2077 came to my mind.

«There is no simple recipe available, but a common thread from the positive examples is to take players’ criticism to heart, dare to support your game and keeping an open and honest dialogue with your stakeholders,» Starbreeze said in its year-end report. «That is exactly what we are now doing with Payday 3.»

Here’s our Ian talking all things Payday 3. Watch on YouTube

The developer is working with publisher Plaion to identify changes needed, both in the short and long term. It said the Payday 3 team will announce a number of prioritised improvements later this month.

Starbreeze remains confident in its Payday brand, stating Payday 2 has «fared slightly better than expected financially» even when its more recent game is «lagging». Its previous game has seen more than «400,000 active players in single months during the quarter», the developer said.

«It shows the strength of the brand, and our potential to convert these to Payday 3 as we deliver on our commitments.»

On its release last year, Payday 3 was plagued with matchmaking issues and online-only requirements. Meanwhile, its first promised ‘big’ patch received several delays, before finally going live. Starbreeze apologised for its silence during these delays, stating «we see your frustration and anger, and we can assure you this is not a situation we want to be in».

It then said the team was «working hard on a game that will be supported for years to come and making Payday 3 the new criminal dawn».

As well as its focus on Payday 3, Starbreeze also has a Dungeons and Dragons game in the works. Codenamed Project Baxter, this upcoming game is expected to release across platforms in 2026.

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