How Payday 3 Died


hook me up to the vehicle, and I'll start the override. I'm connected, but it'll take a second. There's security in place to prevent this sort of takeover. Dearly beloved, we're here today to mourn the death of Payday 3, developed by Starb Studios and launched in September 2023 for Xbox Series X, PS5, and PC Payday 3.

What's that you say the game isn't dead. Well, we thought the same at first until quickly peering at the steam charts from AP. With a peak concurrent player count of 77, 6, and 38 on September 21st, the day of launch, and a 24-hour peak of 302, the player base for the co-op high shooter is almost nonexistent.

While you can't see the player numbers on Xbox or Playstation, the most played game list on the former doesn't have Payday 3 anywhere among the top 49 titles. Despite being on game pass, it's stiff competition compared to the sheer number of other high-profile enjoyable games. However, a sequel to one of the most successful co-op titles of all time, with its predecessor selling over 40 million copies as of January 2023, should be somewhere.

how payday 3 flopped

At the very least, its predecessor shouldn't beat its player count. It has a 24-hour peak concurrent player count of 29,100, which is on the lower end. The past six months have seen its peak as high as, Worrying, I got the Sniper. If it wasn't obvious enough that payday 3 is dead in the water, Brees recently removed its CEO and replaced him with board member Jorgen Goldner.

The search is on for a permanent option; however, for now, the chairman said the company has a clear strategy centered around creating attractive games on our own and licensed IPS and that the execution of the strategy needs different leadership. That's a nice way of saying that the strategy under the previous CEO isn't working and that it's time for a change.

Whether Star Bree can execute on the same plan or not and bring Payday 3 back to life, you have to ask where it all went wrong. How did one of the most hyped sequels die a slow death like this? It began, as it usually does, at launch. There was already plenty of controversy over no offline mode, effectively leaving solo players in the dust, so when servers were bungled and matchmaking issues reigned.

payday 3

Supreme fans had little more than let's get you back in the saddle. This is a small branch bank to keep them company during crashes. It took roughly a week or so before multiplayer was at a point that could be deemed stable. However, once players finally spent more time with the game, the number of steps back became obvious.

Let's be fair and excuse the amount of content it ships with. Even though Payday 2 launched with 12 Heist compared to Payday 3's 8, some of the other issues stemmed from terrible progression, with infam points earned only from completing challenges and nothing else. Why play the mission as intended and go for the maximum amount of cash when you could speed run for fast XP and infamy points, no pregame chat or even a pre-planning map, no filtering and sorting for challenges, a lackluster selection of weapons, no crime, a Net or Lobby browser, and terrible UI design?

payday 3 gameplay

The list went on, and the only consolation was that it only cost $40. Star Breze quickly acknowledged that things weren't going so well. It saw the demand for offline play but couldn't confirm it was happening. It all seemed well enough, and with 3.1 million unique players reported for September, there was clearly a player base that wanted to get in on the heisting ACT.

All the developer had to do was ship some new content and its first patch with many quality-of-life improvements. Unfortunately, the patch was delayed from early to mid-October, but then it was delayed again to an unknown date. By the beginning of November, it finally went live, and though it offered several bug fixes, the real game-changing improvements would have to wait until later that month.

payday 3 operation medic bag

Still, the prospect of two free Legacy Heists revamped for the current game and receiving infam points for each completed Heist sounded nice. Star Breeze would later reveal that launch sales had surpassed expectations but due to various issues they began slowing down still there was confidence that sales would increase over, time, the first content patch came and went breathing some life into the game make no mistake it was good but it was only a start there were still many fundamental issues that had to be fixed so the fact that star breze followed this up with its first paid DLC syntax error rubs some players the wrong way granted that was the road map and the developer was sticking to it but considering all the issues that payday 3 had faced asking for more money wasn't something that generated a ton of fanfare, that too for $8, nearly half the game's price for an outfit pack weapon pack and one Heist no thanks.

By January 2024. Star Brees acknowledged that players weren't happy with the state of the game and thus announced a strike team of veteran developers to formulate a plan that was eventually revealed as Operation Medical Bag. Daily rotating stealth modifiers and merging players into a party once a match was concluded.

payday 3 update

It even confirmed an offline mode for solo players, which rolls out in two phases, the first requiring a connection and the second occasionally requiring online access to update progress. However, the goal is a fully offline mode that won't rely on servers. All of this is good and necessary, but it feels way too late.

Issues aside. Payday 3 doesn't just need to cater to its fan base for long periods and attract new players to provide any hope of a comeback. Quality of life features and improvements alongside new content are a start, but the sequel must offer an experience you can't get anywhere else; it needs to be enjoyable and keep players coming back for more.

This is bizarre because Payday 2 is doing so without any new content or updates. Yeah, it took multiple years to get things right, but once again, Star Breeze should have carried these lessons forward instead of doing whatever it's currently doing with Payday 3. I'm tracking another assault team; they'll be there in about 30 seconds.

what went wrong with payday 3

Someone help Dallas hold on. I'm coming perhaps it really does have a plan to cater to players and sincerely improve their game; however, with several big-name titles available and more on the way, you only get one shot to capture a player's attention and make a positive impression. Long-term turnarounds are still possible, but with rising costs and companies less interested in shouldering the same for very little return, you have to wonder if Payday 3's 2024 road map will pan out.

It's been hard for several games over the past several months, but Starbreeze Studios' Payday 3 can't catch a break. After a disastrous launch where those who purchased couldn't even play it, the co-op heist shooter has faced extensive scrutiny for its design choices, lack of content and quality of life features, progression and no offline mode. Starbreeze has outlined plans to improve the title over the long term with Operation Medic Bag.
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