Payday 2 sales pull Starbreeze out of 15-year loss in six months

The aptly named Payday 2 is by far Starbreeze's biggest earner.

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Since it was founded in 1998, Starbreeze has developed several well-known, critically acclaimed games including The Chronicles of Riddick Escape From Butcher Bay, The Darkness, and Syndicate. But a recent press release from the Swedish developer revealed that it only recently turned a profit, thanks mostly to Payday 2.

For example, Starbreeze reported that it made $6.1 million in the last fiscal quarter, with $5.3 million in Payday 2 sales alone.

“To put the past six months in perspective, I would like to highlight that Starbreeze historically, from 1998 to June 2013, accumulated a total loss of SEK 94 million ($14.4 million),” CEO Bo Andersson Klint said. “Thanks to our new business model, reorganization and a focus on our own brands, we have—in only two quarters—generated a profit before tax of SEK 104 million ($16 million).”

Payday 2 was created by Overkill, another Swedish developer that Starbreeze acquired in 2012, and is published by 505 Games. The press release revealed that Starbreeze signed an “improved” contract with 505 Games to continue developing and refining Payday 2 for the next 20 months.

Klint said that Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons also “finally” started generating royalty income for Starbreeze, bringing in around $250,000 in the last quarter.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer, and you can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

52 comments
nyran125tk
nyran125tk

The original Syndicate was amazing. these guys must of the made the new one. Id love a true remake of the original syndicate . It was made by Peter Molyneux around the same time as he was making populous. These guys must of made the new shooter version.


Maybe Firaxis needs to do what they did with X-COM and buy the franchise. To do it some kind of justice.


Good for them anyway, glad to see companies succeeding and not failing with realistic goals and not outlandish unrealistic sales targets.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Syndicate was critically acclaimed? lol nope.

Tribesmaster
Tribesmaster

All I remember about Payday2 was calling stores for a week after release just for them to tell me they still don't have it, so I ended up not buying it, and went for Killer is Dead.

I still haven't tried Payday2 yet.

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

As much as I wanted to, I couldn't pick up "Brothers". Asking PC players if they want to use a controller is one thing; forcing them is quite another. If a company cannot support a platform's native input methods, it really caps its earning potential.  But then again, a lot of developers feel the console UI (erroneously) works fine for the PC platform.  Look at Capcom and their porting of the (great on a console) Resident Evil 4 game.  You have to use keys to navigate the menu rather than mouse + click.  This easily shows the developers who just want a quick buck and if they can get the game to run on a platform, then it's "Good enough".


As for Starbreeze; I had nothing against them. I actually enjoyed the Riddick games a while back, but just had never heard much of them afterwards.  I did my time in Payday; was an OK game; glad to hear it's doing well for them.

Mr_Big_Boss
Mr_Big_Boss

Payday 2 and Brothers were both on PS+ as freebies. I think Sony's deal with them helped them the most.

sadface1234
sadface1234

great acquisition by starbreeze then; great games too boot

Hurvl
Hurvl

Good to see that they're not past their heyday, thanks to Payday.

robbiejones
robbiejones

Hope they make a cool bank heist single player game. that would be sweeet

robertcain
robertcain

It's this sort of thing that proves that there's still a whole of commitment in the industry; congrats to StarBreeze for pulling themselves back with Payday 2!!!


Now I suppose studios like Capcom and Sony will have to figure out a way to follow suit.

obsequies
obsequies

wow that's great, so happy for them! I wonder what kind of deal they had with sony on +

aci808
aci808

I like Swedish Fish, so that's pretty cool.

xblackdivine
xblackdivine

i am playing darkness,so cool still.
nice job done starbreeze
^__^

pez2k_
pez2k_

Worth pointing out too that Bo Andersson was the boss and co-founder of Overkill before Starbreeze bought them. He's done pretty well for himself recently, good to see after Grin got screwed over by publishers.

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

The Darkness and Riddick are two of my favorite games, Starbreeze's attention to detail is amazing.

The phone numbers in The Darkness is still imo the best idea ever.

tachsniper
tachsniper

i dont care about anything else, i want that Sweettooth mask


StaticPenguin
StaticPenguin

Sweet, maybe that means we'll get more Riddick! Probably not....

DefconRave
DefconRave

Starbreeze is one of the few who still make fun fps with good gunplay imo, 


Yes I liked Syndicate as well :) Too short though.

nazgoroth
nazgoroth

I'm happy for them.

And that's all i'm going to say.

Except, is this game any fun? Honestly as i might get it.

Gen007
Gen007

Incredible and sad at the same time the rddick games are classic imo especially the first one and the graphics for it at the time were groundbreaking at the time as well. The darkness 1 was awesome as well and vastly underrated imo. These guys are innovators and masterful game makers and yet they have basically always been a small time operation unfortunately. Payday 2 is a great game and deserves the success that it has gotten I only wish it weren't so grindy. It can take forever to get good gear and abilities.

northArrow
northArrow

How did they stay in business being underwater that long?

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

Now they just need to actually release the DLC for console versions of the game.  Honestly, I don't mind if PC is their first priority, but the consoles have only gotten the one big (4 gig) patch, no actual new content like the PC has gotten.  As someone with the PS3 version of the game, really annoying.

Gallowhand
Gallowhand

That's a remarkable achievement, and I'm glad to see they are more financially secure.  Starbreeze has made some good games in the past, and I've actually followed them since the very early days when they released screenshots for a fantasy game that changed to something like a Quake clone, but was never released.


What disturbs me, though, is that they only appear to have become profitable since selling games based on their own IPs.  I thought that the Riddick games and The Darkness had sold well, but apparently not - or maybe they just didn't see much of the profits. :(


Good luck to them with future games.  Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons is a great little game, and I hope they consider making more of these kinds of projects.

joce667
joce667

Starbreeze also made syndicate and the coop of that game is legend... wait for it ... dary ! 


hadlee73
hadlee73

Fun game with a group of people. Gamers love a heist.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Unfortunate how the industry is that these guys can make such great games but still just be getting by at times.

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

I had a ton of fun with the game for a month or two. My only complaint was how useless the AI was.

mbounce88
mbounce88

How much credit do they have to give to sony and PS Plus for getting the original out for people to buy number 2? I bet ALOT

porcupeth123
porcupeth123

So their worst game, gave them a profit for the first time..


Goes to show how this industry is.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@DarkSaber2k  what? Syndicate was an epic idea when it was a strategy game, you might be thinking of the shooter that came out recently. That had nothing to do with the original concept.


im still surprised the original Syndicate hasnt been remade. Its like X-COM enemy unknown, but your against government corrupt corporations and agencies.

wasakawaka
wasakawaka

It's on PSN+ now for zero money (no additional cost) or free.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@aegis_kleais  Its fine, just go get a controller lol. The game was designed FOR a controller. The actual game mechanics. We are not talkign like a hitman style game or a Resdent Evil 5 or a Matal gear solid or GTA or a Splinter cell where the mouse moves the camera around freely and it works. Brothers was literally designed for a controller.


Do you play car games wiht keyboard and mouse? i bet you dont, so why should it be different for games that are made to utilize a controller? You have to use the thumb stick sin such a way that you couldnt really do that with a mouse and keyboard.


Its like try playing Street fighter with a keyboard instead of a controller. It feels like sht. But the game itself is designed for a controller from the ground up.

pez2k_
pez2k_

@nazgoroth It's pretty great if you have friends to play with, but I'd advise getting the PC version over consoles. Overkill tend to push out lots of updates and due to the certification process on PS3 and 360 they can't get them anywhere near as quickly as PC. They're currently having a bad time updating the 360 version, apparently all of the new content pushed it over the 2GB patch size limit so they have to restructure it somehow. I don't think that even includes the two most recent weapon packs, the melee combat addition, the GO Bank heist, or the Deathwish difficulty level update either.

gamerboy100
gamerboy100

@northArrow  They must be very good at holding their breath. lol


Joking aside, I like what I've played of their games.

zor3333l
zor3333l

@northArrow  i guess they had enough passion to continue doing what they love hoping to turn it around one day

Hurvl
Hurvl

@AtheistPreacher It's the certification process inherent with the consoles that's the problem, another commenter said. Every update needs to be certified and previewed before it's made available to gamers. It's not like they're favorizing the PC, they simply can't get the new content to consoles fast enough, because of that system.

uncle5555
uncle5555

@GallowhandProblem was they probably got paid a lump sum for developing the licensed games and a small royalty payout per title. 


I want to like the Brothers game, but I can see why not many cared for it's non-traditional control scheme, and I applaud their dedication to innovation, but they need to make sure their is appeal of the concept and game before committing resources to a new IP that commits itself to being a good game in front of something that is just innovative in one area. (Ie. controls)

Hurvl
Hurvl

@kitmeep Being Swedish, I'll say: better Starbreeze than Rockstar :P. Well, Rockstar hasn't suffered because of the lack of heists in GTA V, so there's no gain at the cost of another company.

ziproy
ziproy

@kitmeep  I'm never forgetting Rockstar dicking us around like that with the MP. Still no Heists despite they were in the premier trailer

AtheistPreacher
AtheistPreacher

@Hurvl @AtheistPreacher  

Yeah, I get that the cert process for consoles can suck.  In fact, now I'm recalling that the 360 actually *hasn't* gotten the patch the PS3 did, because the 360 has a 2gb limit on patches.  Ouch.

But even if you consider just the PS3, I think I'm entitled to be annoyed.  Other companies manage the cert somehow.  They released the first DLC for PC back in November.  They shouldn't need more than three months to cert.