'Payday 3' Teased As Developer Confirms Continued Success Of 'Payday 2'
Starbreeze Studios, the Swedish developer and publisher behind the Payday franchise, hasn't exactly had the best time of it in the last few years. 2018 saw the company file for bankruptcy, lay off 25% of staff, and sell of a bunch of its studios and IPs. It's now released its end of year earnings report, and while 2019 wasn't what anyone would describe as a smooth ride, it seems that the company's fortunes are improving.
Starbreeze spent the majority of the year completely restructuring the company so that it could remain solvent. Obviously, during this period it wasn't releasing or really working on any new games. As per the earnings report, Starbreeze's loss before tax last year was 452.4 million SEK, which is around £32.2 million. An undeniable hit, but a vast improvement on the loss of over a billion SEK reported in 2018.
Throughout this difficult period, Starbreeze has found that the Payday franchise is most likely the company's best route back to happier days. In October last year, it was announced that Payday 2 would be returning to active development, and that Payday 3 would - hopefully - release by 2023 at the latest.
Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark said that the new DLC for Payday 2 performed better than expected, which led to the highest concurrent player count "in some time". Before Payday 2 went back into active development, the average player count was around 10,000. As of November, that number more than doubled, hitting 28,000.
According to the Steam Charts, that number is gradually declining again - which is to be expected. Hopefully as Starbreeze continues to support the game, it can hold a fairly steady player count with the occasional boost in numbers. Indeed, Newmark confirmed that continued updates are on the way, even touching on Payday 3 again.
"This is a good sign that confirms the interest in a future release of Payday 3 and lays a stable foundation for continued efforts," he explained. "Starbreeze will release additional updates to Payday 2 in 2020. As of January 3rd, sales will gain further momentum through the increase in Starbreeze's share of sales via Steam from 70 to 75%."
"We are engaged in ongoing discussions of a publishing agreement for Payday 3," he continued. "We intend to present one before the end of the first half of 2020. Payday is the company's most important brand and we are seeking a good partner that can provide financial stability and possesses the marketing and distribution resources required to power the best possible launch and further development of the product."
Fingers crossed everything works out for Starbreeze and that 2020 ends up being a better year for the company.
Featured Image Credit: Starbreeze