Payday 2 studio steps back—very slightly—from microtransactions

Payday 2 drill

Last week, developer Overkill introduced microtransactions to Payday 2, despite saying—back in 2013, admittedly—that it would never happen. The change came as part of the Black Market update, that delivers random loot drops to players via locked safes. The catch is that you'll need drills to bust them open, and a drill will cost you a couple bucks in real money on the Steam marketplace.

The backlash was predictable, but perhaps more powerful than anyone at Overkill expected, because as a part of yesterday's update to the game, drills are now offered as a Card Loot Drop reward. "Players can now be rewarded with Drills that can open Safes after successfully completing a heist," the update changelog states.

It's not the first time that fan outcry has forced a developer to step back from real-money maneuvering on Steam—Skyrim mods, anyone?—but neither is it a complete reversal. Drill drops are random, meaning that it's perfectly possible, depending on the whim of fate, to end up with a safe and no way to open it without spending money. And going by complaints in the Steam forum—which, to be clear, isn't the most scientific method, but we work with what we've got—the drop rate is extremely low.

It probably goes without saying that Payday 2 players on Steam don't seem terribly impressed by the extended olive branch. Several forum threads refer to the move as purely damage control and exhort angry players to post negative user reviews until Overkill drops microtransactions entirely. It's a step in the right direction, sure, but right now it doesn't look like it's going to be anywhere near enough to get angry players back on board.

Thanks, Gameranx.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.