Overkill Software has announced that Payday 2 will be receiving stat-boosting paid loot crate content, triggering some fans to protest about a pay-to-win culture potentially ruining the game.

Two years after its release, Payday 2 is still alive and well thanks to a healthy topping of DLC releases and an active userbase. Now, developer Overkill Software has ambitious plans to introduce paid DLC which will give players stat-boosting weapon skins, in a manner which will be integrated with the Steam Marketplace economy.

The announcement has sparked plenty of controversy, as some fans feel this type of economy will provide unbalanced gameplay and introduce a pay-to-win economy, giving players willing to spend money an edge during gameplay. On the official website, examples like an M308 rifle with boosts to stability and damage output are shown, which has only stoked the fire for concerned fans.

The safes with the exclusive content will appear as random-chance earnings during the end-of-round card flips. Upon recieving one, gamers have the option to purchase a special drill for $2.49 which will open the crates, or alternatively trading the drill on the marketplace. It’s worth noting that some of the improved weapon stats do come with detrimental counterparts (more power but less concealment, for example), but not all of them include a negative side.

Pay-To-Win gameplay has been a hot-button item in the gaming industry for some time now, with recent highlights including the H1Z1 loot crate fiasco and the previous DLC mentality found in World of Tanks. Gamers who aren’t willing to splash the cash to get an advantage over other gamers are understandably upset, as the imbalanced playing field often makes for a frustrating experience for the lesser half.

It looks like this style of pay-to-win content has been on the agenda at Overkill Software for some time, as former lead designer David Goldfarb stated on Twitter earlier today that he left the studio a year ago because of things like this microtransaction platform.

The Black Market Update, which went live today, is coinciding with a 10 day special on Steam where the game has become temporarily free-to-play in a bid to attract more gamers. Steam is also featuring plenty of previously released downloadable content at a 75% discount, and the game itself is going for $5 during the sale.

Cosmetic items are fun and fair, but it’s unfortunate to see Overkill Software introduce stat-boosting paid content to a community that has gone without it for two years. Any type of microtransaction that is designed to create an unequal playing ground at cost to the consumer is treading dangerous water, and only time will tell if Overkill Software will be sailing in smooth seas, or if the Payday 2 community will jump ship as a result.

What do you think about cosmetic content with stat-boosting incentives, Ranters? Does it matter to you?

Source: Overkill Software