Cooperative crimes-doing shooter Payday 2 is getting a bit long in the tooth at 7 years old, though it's still played by some 20-60 thousand people each month and gets regular updates. So where, you might ask, is Payday 3, which we haven't learned much new about since early 2017? A tweet from the official Payday account provides tantalizing bits of… information? Something like that.
ACCESS: PAYDAY TWITTER MANMEMBER COUNT: 100,000REQUEST RECEIVED, ACCESSING CRIMENET...CONNECTING...ONLINE. TIME: 13:37STATUS PAYDAY 3☑️CONFIRMED ☑️DESIGN PHASE☑️RELEASE DATE TBA☑️UNREAL ENGINE pic.twitter.com/fqnWYEaCSgOctober 3, 2020
The only new information is that Payday 3 will use the Unreal Engine. There's also an image of a shady computer-using person. We've known Payday 3 was in the works for years now, but it seems like it's still in the overall design phase with no firm release date. The Payday series is developed by Swedish studio Overkill, but published by Starbreeze, which has had notable financial and legal problems in recent years. So as far as we know, Payday 3 is still scheduled for a 2022 or 2023 release date, as much as a full decade after the release of Payday 2. Payday 2 still has active updates, and is by any conventional measure an active and successful game. Its most recent DLC, Breakfast in Tijuana, released in July of this year.
Payday 3's development has been largely overshadowed by troubles at publisher Starbreeze.
Following the high profile failure of Overkill's The Walking Dead in late 2018, Starbreeze announced in May of 2019 that it wouldn't last another year without significant financial support. It laid off 25% of its workforce the next month and underwent a major restructuring that saw the company sell off valuable publishing rights to games like Psychonauts 2 and System Shock 3. Publishing on Payday 2 paused for most of 2019 before resuming in October. Starbreeze announced earlier this year that it was seeking a publishing partner for Payday 3, shortly before its former CEO was convicted of insider trading.
It's all a bit glum for Starbreeze, but there's significant signs at this point that the revenue from Payday 2 will be enough for Overkill to finish Payday 3.