"A new criminal dawn is finally upon us." So says Overkill Software, developers of co-operative heist-failure simulator Payday 3, which now has a Steam page (opens in new tab).
It also has a teaser in which fireworks go off over the New York skyline while four shadowy figures watch. The fact that Payday 3 is going to New York is one of few things we know about the latest in the series, which is due to release this year after being picked up by publisher Koch Media for its Prime Matter label.
The original four members of the Payday Gang, Dallas, Chains, Wolf, and Hoxton, will be back following Hoxton's brief replacement by his brother Houston in Payday 2. "Step out of retirement back into the life of crime in the shoes of the Payday Gang," says the store page, "the envy of their peers and the nightmare of law-enforcement wherever they go. Several years after the crew's reign of terror over Washington DC has ended, they assemble once again to deal with the threat that roused them out of early retirement."
During a 10th anniversary stream in 2021, Overkill explained that it wants Payday 3's New York to be "enormous" and "living", with locations that change significantly once the alarms go off and the shooting begins. It also plans to modernize things with high-tech surveillance, new gadgets, and media commentary on the gang's criminal exploits. Apparently cryptocurrency and tech giants will play a part in the plot.
The deal between Starbreeze, who published Payday 2, and new owners Koch Media includes up to 18 months of post-release support. That's not surprising, given that a return to Payday 2 and steady stream of DLC helped keep Starbreeze alive following the disastrous launch of Overkill's The Walking Dead, a CFO convicted of insider trading, reconstruction to avoid bankruptcy, and laying off 60 employees.
As acting CEO Tobias Sjögren said in a triumphant financial report covering the end of 2020 (opens in new tab), "Our Payday franchise and 'games as a service model' really showed their muscles during the year with several successful releases of content for Payday 2. By late December, Payday 2 had become the biggest game community on Steam, with 7.1 million members. We have executed two capital raises during the year and paid off a large proportion of our debts, strengthened our financial position and thus enabling the continued successful development of Payday 3 in 2021—all key steps in putting Starbreeze back on the map as an industry leader."
Basically, don't be too shocked when Payday 3 turns out to be a fully live-service game, possibly with some kind of battle pass.