Starbreezes Payday 3 was released over the weekend and has already reached 1.3 million unique players. In a new press release, the developer confirmed that the milestone covers both PC and consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S) and reached a peak of 218,250 concurrent players.
At least part of the game’s success is thanks to Xbox Game Pass, which promotes the heist game on both the Xbox Series X|S and PC versions of the service. The number of players doesn’t correspond to the units sold, but at least the 1.3 million shows a fondness for a series that was almost canceled.
Similar to the success of Dead Island 2 Earlier this year, it appeared that the Payday franchise was filling a particular niche that only more Payday could truly fill.
The benchmark had one caveat, and it was this Payday 3 has been suffering from server issues since its release on September 21st. Starbreeze noted that the matchmaking infrastructure “did not perform as tested and expected.”
The developer also stated that the problem did not occur in any case Payday 3 Pre-release technical betas (or Early Access) due to “the specificity of rapid user influx and load balancing.” A fix has since been deployed, and Starbreeze added that it will be looking for a new third-party partner “who can do it.” Payday 3 less reliant on online services.”
CEO Tobias Sjögren acknowledged that the studio has “a lot of diligent and consistent work ahead of us to regain the trust of the community, but we will work hard to get it done. We are confident in our core product and the quality of it.” Payday 3—and all available metrics point to this.”
The long, winding road to get there Payday 3
Despite the server problems, Starbreeze is confident Payday 3 long-term success – largely because of the game’s predecessor Payday 2 has proven that the series can have a very long tail.
In 2018, Starbreeze almost went under after the release of The Walking Dead: Overkill. This game’s weak sales led to the studio putting many of its ventures on hold as it filed for administration and then-CEO Bo Andersson immediately left the company.
Starbreeze was kept afloat primarily by revenue Payday 2 (which was first published in 2013) and its continuous updates over the years. Work was underway at the same time payday 3, whose co-release was already booked by Plaion (via Deep Silver).
Although Payday helped save Starbreeze, the developer has plans beyond this one property. In October 2022, the company announced that it would begin publishing games from third-party developers again (though it stopped doing so after that). Overkills underperformance).
The company is also currently developing a new property that is scheduled to be released sometime in 2025.