Co-op heist game Payday 3, which came out last month, did not have the smoothest of launches. With an unpopular always-online requirement and many quality-of-life problems plaguing the experience, the game had a divisive reception at launch. Developer Starbreeze Studios apologised for the condition the game was in and promised swift fixes to improve things. A full month has passed and players are still awaiting these updates with little communication from the developer. Starbreeze has now made a statement apologising for the lack of contact and promising a more steady flow of updates.
“We’ve been quiet over the last few days, and for that we apologise,” states the developer on the Payday website. “It’s not easy to communicate when we have not been able to offer any updates on the one big topic that’s on everyone’s mind right now: when are the patches coming to Payday 3? Despite our silence, we want to assure you all that the team is still working on our main priority, which is to get the patch we promised out to you, and to make sure our patching process allows us to continue publishing them at a steady cadence in the future.”
The first major patch for Payday 3 is essentially complete, and is in the process of being certified by Sony and Microsoft before it can be released for the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S versions of the game to ensure parity between the different platforms. Another cause of the delay in the update was the discovery of “critical errors” which risked player progression being wiped, which obviously would not have been ideal. During this first month, Starbreeze has also been taking note of feedback regarding the game’s progression system, promising “to balance both the challenge system as well as offering infamy points for each heist.” We will apparently find out more about this soon. To conclude the statement, Starbreeze apologises for the lack of communication, acknowledging that “we can assure you this is not a situation we want to be in“. Once the patches are released on a more consistent schedule, the developer promises more free content updates before the end of the year.
Although the reasons for these delays are understandable, the lack of communication has probably not helped players maintain confidence in Payday 3. As an always-online game with a co-op focus, this lack of confidence could put the game in mortal peril. Although not the most scientific metric, SteamDB shows that there are over ten times the number of current players on Steam playing Payday 2 compared to Payday 3. While that could mean that many Payday 2 players are just holding out until a sale or something before moving onto the new release, it could also mean that those who purchased the new game and were turned off by the lack of communication and updates moved back to the previous entry where all the players are.
At any rate, hopefully Starbreeze is able to turn this troubled title around now that we have a clearer idea of when to expect more updates.