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Payday 3 Recouped Development Costs In 9 Days, Despite Issues

Starbreeze says initial game sales exceeded expectations, but Embracer says launch sales were "a bit weaker than expected."


Payday 3 launched in September, but the release was marred with serious server issues. What impact those issues have had on the game are not totally clear. As part of publisher Starbreeze's latest earnings report, the company said the game performed ahead of expectations in terms of "initial" game sales. Starbreeze also said it has already made its money back off the game.

Starbreeze said Payday 3 has "reached recoup." That's not a big surprise, though, as the game was fully funded prior to launch thanks to a €50 million deal with Koch Media.

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Now Playing: Payday 3 Everything To Know

Koch Media owner Embracer, however, says Payday 3 did not live up to every expectation. CEO Lars Wingefors said during Embracer's earnings briefing that sales of Payday 3 out of the gate came in "a bit weaker than expected," according to VGC.

Neither Embracer nor Starbreeze have said what their specific sales expectations were for Payday 3. But Starbreeze said it recouped its development costs for Payday 3 on September 30, just nine days after the game launched on September 21.

In addition to being sold outright, Payday 3 launched into Xbox Game Pass, so unit-sales numbers represent just one piece of the crime game's total potential commercial audience.

Starbreeze acknowledged Payday 3's issues, saying the studio quickly realized that the game's servers were not holding up. These problems led to sales of Payday 3 being "somewhat lower" after those issues were addressed. However, Starbreeze said, "We are convinced that what we have in store will increase sales over time."

"I myself have often said that 'You are never better than your next game,' and the events of September and October have given reason for extensive analysis, investigation, and action," Starbreeze's Tobias Sjogren sad. "The team's focus is, and will continue to be, building Payday 3 according to plan and repairing the short-term drop in confidence that the launch entailed."

Looking ahead, Sjogren said Starbreeze has a "clear vision" for what Payday 3 can achieve over time through its live-service approach. Payday 3 has now transitioned from a "launch" phase to a "live-service" phase, which means the team is building out new features, improvements, and more content.

Payday 3's Steam player numbers are not exactly super strong, as more people are playing Payday 2 than Payday 3 on Steam right now.

Two new free heists are coming to Payday 3 this month, while the game is getting new first-person animations, weapons, skins, and other improvements in future patches. Starbreeze is developing four paid expansions for Payday 3, and the company said this represents only a "subset" of the post-launch content for Payday 3.

GameSpot's Payday 3 review scored the game a 6/10. Reviewer Alessandro Barbosa wrote, "Payday 3 features rich new challenges and satisfying stealth objectives to keep you entertained for some time."

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