Payday 3 Dev Apologizes Profusely For Poor Launch, Discusses Potential Offline Mode
Two developers from Starbreeze answered questions for an hour regarding the heist game's challenging launch.
The highly anticipated co-op heist game Payday 3 just released across console and PC, and while the game's launch numbers were massive, the game's debut was not without issue. Widespread server issues marred the launch and caused frustration among the playerbase. Even Starbreeze's CEO responded to and apologized for the server issues at launch. Now, global brand director Almir Listo and lead producer Andreas Häll Penninger have responded to the issues in a Twitch stream where they confirmed Payday 3 could get an offline mode some day.
"This launch did not go as expected. We understand that many of you are extremely frustrated and angry, and we are too," Penniger said. Listo and Penniger apologized again and again during the hour-long live Q&A with fans on Twitch.
As for an offline mode, Listo said, "We cannot give a clear yes or no answer on this topic because it's [been] four days since launch. We did not foresee the incredible difficulties you've had logging on."
Listo went on to say that Starbreeze will confirm the details of a Payday 3 offline mode, whether it's getting one or not, "as soon as we can." But the studio is unable to right now.
"We are evaluating every possibility going forward on how we can provide the best experience," Listo said. Penniger said Starbreeze cannot commit to yes or no answers for any future feature for Payday 3 at this stage.
Also during the broadcast, Listo explained why Payday 3 is an always-online game, and he read the previously released statement about this. He said this came from feedback from Payday 2. In particular, the always-online requirement for Payday 3 was in response to "rampant cheating" and unreliable hosting from the earlier game. The studio also wanted to have Payday 3 be "one community" across platforms, including PC and console, and always-online ensures everyone on every platform is running the same version of the game at the same time.
Additionally, Listo and Penniger said there are no plans to change progression system as it stands, but the company is considering adding features to make progression easier to understand and more intuitive in the user interface and other elements of the game.
Here are some other features that Listo and Penniger said the team at Starbreeze is looking to potentially add to Payday 3 in the future
- Lobby chat for text and voice
- An "Unready" button in the lobby
- The ability to rename loadouts
- Improvements to the Challenge system
- Mouse and keyboard support on Xbox and PlayStation consoles
- A Quick Play option
- A new skill line called Transporter, which lets you carry two loot bags
Listo said Starbreeze never intended for the launch to go the way it has, adding that the team is now "working around the clock" to fix the issues and make the game live up to fans' expectations. However, Listo said fans should be patient and understanding because the team "can only do so much" and that it's still very early days, as the game only just launched on September 21.
Despite the issues, Payday 3 reached a peak concurrent player count across all platforms of 218,250 during its launch weekend. The game also reached a peak of 1.347 million unique daily players.
The Payday franchise is historically critical to Starbreeze's financial performance, so it will be interesting to see how the company tries to turn things around and make the game a success both with fans and from a corporate perspective.