In case you didn’t know already, Payday 2 is a really cool four-player co-op shooter where you get to rob banks. It’s on Steam, it costs $19.99 and developer Overkill got quite a lot of praise for it. However, the tide is turning a bit after the studio decided to add microtransactions to the game last week with the Black Market update, a trend that is getting quite some negative attention since games such as Dead Space 3 tried to do so.
In the case of Payday 2, Overkill went to the point of saying the following when the game launched: “[…] Payday 2 will have no micro-transactions whatsoever (shame on you if you thought otherwise!).” That’s one more reason why the move upset a lot of players.
Producer Amir Listo went to Reddit to explain this decision and what he revealed was pretty interesting, leaving the idea that the studio is certain that microtransactions are needed to ensure the survival of the game. He also mentioned that the update is “working as intended” (read money is coming), and while there is no confirmation about a business model switch to free-to-play, it sounds very likely judging by this statement:
“The reason we’ve added paid DLC is as a means to create additional revenue streams so we can continue making content. If going F2P would mean that the game would live longer, there’d be more content available while at the same time generating enough to keep us going, that’d be fantastic. Are we going F2P tomorrow? No. Next year? I don’t know – it depends on where we are next year, and if there’s a point in doing it.”
Nowadays, it seems that when a premium title runs its course (one or two years), the developers begin pushing the move to F2P. It doesn’t happen to the major franchises, of course, but some indie multiplayer games usually go down that path. Payday 2 could be one more, but we’ll have to wait a few months to see what happens.