After many long years of waiting, Starbreeze, publisher of Payday: The Heist, its sequel and the recently released Overkill’s The Walking Dead, has finally announced a release window for the long-awaited Payday 3. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the sequel is going to be hitting shelves anytime soon.
In a press release on its site, Starbreeze listed how it seeks to solve its recent financial issues, citing the release of Payday 3 as an “expected event” that will look to bring in an influx of revenue. The publisher also listed a vague release window to accompany this prediction, stating the game would release between 2022 and 2023.
That’s obviously a long time for fans of the franchise to wait for the next entry in the series, especially with Payday 2 releasing all the way back in 2013. However, the franchise still has a thriving online community that has persisted long past the release of the second game. It even saw numerous ports to consoles in the six years since its release, making its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in 2015, before transitioning to the Switch in 2017. Although it remains to be seen, Payday 3 could be exactly the title to aid in Starbreeze’s unfortunate financial situation and bring stability back to the declining publisher.
Starbreeze’s issues began back in 2018 when its newly released zombie title, Overkill’s The Walking Dead, majorly underperformed in sales. Since then, the company has been met with a spate of bad luck, having to cancel the major console launch of The Walking Dead, conduct severe layoffs, and even deal with raids by the Swedish authorities due to insider trading. The studio eventually filed for reconstruction with the Stockholm District Court, its bleak status leaving many to contemplate whether the company could survive.
It didn’t help that Overkill’s The Walking Dead wasn’t majorly well received by players or critics, with the game seeing numerous delays and eventually a lack of active online users. Among weak gameplay, the title was criticized for its major technical issues and bugs. An anonymous employee of the studio even admitted earlier this year that the game was doomed to fail, citing mismanagement in the design team and a lack of any defining identity throughout the game as reasons for its failure. Hopefully Payday 3 will be the project that sees Starbreeze find its feet again and begin to recover from its devastating financial issues, however, it seems we won’t find out for a while to come.
Payday 3 is in development for unspecified consoles and aims to release between 2022 and 2023