Why Payday 3 Failed


Payday 2 could easily be considered one of the most iconic games of the last decade, with over 40 million copies sold and more than 30, 000 daily players. It's safe to say Payday 2 was a huge success. Unfortunately, the same can be said about its sequel on August 13th, 2013.

Payday 2

Payday 2

Payday 2 was released after only 2 years in development and would go on to become one of the best-selling games on Steam. The game naturally evolved from the groundwork set by the original Payday but amplified every aspect, introducing a number of heists, expanding the roster of characters, and adding extensive player customization with all these new improvements.

Payday 2 spread like wildfire, and with each passing day, the player numbers would rise, sitting at over 400, 000 reviews. With nearly 90% of them being positive, it was clear that Payday 3 would be nothing short of a success , but the reality is much different.

The failure of payday 3

Darker compared to Steam Reviews of these two games paint a harsh picture for the future of the studio, while Payday 2 boasts an overwhelmingly positive response.

Payday 3 was met with tons of criticism and as much as 60% of negative reviews. It's clear to see that Payday 3 failed to do what Payday 2 did so well, but what went wrong?



To get an answer to that question, we need to go back to May of 2016, when Payday 3 first entered development. Star Breeze Studios, the developer, made an announcement in 2016 regarding the development of the game. This came after Star Breeze acquired the intellectual property rights from 505 Games for approximately $30 million.

On January 1st, 2023, a teaser trailer titled A New Criminal Dawn was unveiled, revealing the game's logo later in June of the same year. The release date for Payday 3 was disclosed as September 18th, 2012, and it was open for pre-orders of the silver and gold editions, while the standard edition would launch on September 21st.

The comments on these articles were filled with excitement and praise for the developers. Many people expressed their excitement for the highly anticipated sequel. I can't believe it. The dreams of thousands of people have finally been confirmed, and it's going to be so good. I just know it. I rarely ever get excited over new game announcements, but I'm absolutely ecstatic over this.

I can't wait until release. Your game brought me so much joy back in the day. I absolutely can't wait to play this game on launch day. This is going to be one of the biggest games of 2023, but there couldn't be more.



Wrong While unaware of it at the time, fans will soon realize that Payday 3 will fail to live up to their expectations and, in some ways, even fail to deliver on features that Payday promised. Perfected is a complaint that we see time and time again across thousands of negative reviews: that the game was released in an unfinished state.

It's clear that the game has some major core gameplay flaws and fails to deliver on the basic elements of a Payday game. The issues plaguing this game ranged from connection issues to poor performance. During the initial few hours following the game's launch, users encountered laggy and unstable lobbies that frequently disconnected.

beta gameplay

Such persistent problems on the launch day of a game that has been in development for 7 years are completely unacceptable. The choice to get rid of local play and only allow players to play the game while connected to the internet is quite perplexing and suggests a lack of consideration on the part of the student studios for their audience because not everyone has a consistent internet connection.

Some people could be restricted from playing because of a limited data plan. While others simply prefer the option to play offline with mods and create their own experience, numerous people have been sharing their experiences of encountering frame drops, stutters, crashes, and various other performance-related problems even when playing on top TI systems.

These problems have yet to be addressed through any official patches, and the players themselves were forced to come up with solutions by creating temporary fixes. Another decision that confused a lot of the player base is the post-long switch from Unreal Engine 4 to Unreal Engine 5, with a lot of people claiming that simply developing the game in Unreal Engine 5 since the star would have been a better idea. Unfortunately, there are even bigger problems in Payday 3, like lackluster AI that is nowhere near any modern gaming standard, making the game feel even more outdated than Breaking the Player Immersion.

Modern gaming

Modern gaming

This begs the question: with all these problems plaguing not just payday 3 but most modern games in general, why do we keep participating in this dangerous cycle of accepting and buying unfinished games?

Because this is not an isolated incident by any means, this is a persistent trend in modern gaming where development studios prioritize profit over releasing a finished product. It's a trend where players are seen as nothing more than a number, but for some reason, millions of gamers worldwide keep ignoring the Shady practice and continue buying all the latest releases at full price regardless of the quality.

No wonder all these studios keep getting away with it; they see no pushback or retaliation when they cut down on development time and push out half-finished games for the sake of getting more sales.


So next time you're buying games, don't pay full price; instead, use instant gaming and save up to 99% on games.

I will only promote brands that I truly believe in and that I actually use daily, and instant gaming has always been the website where I get all my games.

Payday 3 on youtube

Payday 3 on youtube

Now back to the article. One discovery that has left me surprised is just how active the live DEP payday 3 community is on YouTube. While it's clear that most of these views are coming from well-established channels that have made payday-related content in the past, it's very surprising to see how YouTube views compare to actual player numbers.

It almost seems as if people would rather watch the game than play it, and who could blame them while doing research for this article? I came across a lot of Payday 3 articles easily surpassing 10K views, so comparing these numbers to current player numbers doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's no surprise that people don't want to play Payday 3 because to this day there are still tons of issues played in this game that have not been addressed yet, and at this point it's a little too late considering what I've been hearing from friends who are fans of the series and what I've been reading online.

collectors edition

It's safe to say that the players have moved on , so it's not so negative.

PAYDAY 3 was a highly anticipated sequel to the popular game PAYDAY2, but failed to meet the players expectations. With connection issues on launch, making the game unplayable, to missing features and terrible performance.
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