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Payday 3 devs know the heist game is underperforming, but are determined to bring players back

The shooter has struggled since it launched.

Payday 3 had a rough launch, and its player base is dwindling, which developer Starbreeze has acknowledged - but it's dead set on a comeback.

While Payday 3 brought in a lot of players when it was released last year, these days things aren't looking so good. Looking at SteamDB, the game hasn't had a concurrent player count peak above 1000 since the middle of January, and week on week the count is getting lower and lower (over the weekend the player count had a peak of 545). Now, in its end-of-year report for 2023, Starbreeze has admitted things aren't looking so good, but it did once again mention its plan to revitalise the game, in part by taking feedback from players and working with its publisher, Plaion.

Talking about how it thinks the game can make a comeback, the Starbreeze report stated that "there are many examples from the game industry, where a problematic initial time on the market is turned into long-term success. There is no simple recipe available, but a common thread from the positive examples is to take players' criticism to heart, dare to support your game and keeping an open and honest dialogue with your stakeholders.

"That is exactly what we are now doing with Payday 3. Few companies are blessed with a brand as strong as Payday. At a time when our most recent game is lagging, Payday 2 has fared slightly better than expected financially and with more than 400,000 active players in single months during the quarter. It shows the strength of the brand, and our potential to convert these to Payday 3 as we deliver on our commitments."

Starbreeze isn't wrong, there are several cases of games being very poorly received at launch and bouncing back later on, No Man's Sky being one of the best examples of that, though whether Payday 3 can manage to do that is still up in the air. At least the original creators of Payday, who now run Den of Wolves developer 10 Chambers, seem to believe in Starbreeze.

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