Payday: The Heist is free on Steam for the next 24 hours

Payday: The Heist

Update: The promotion has started. Head here to grab your free copy of Payday: The Heist. You'll be able to add it to your Steam account, for nothing, until 10am PDT tomorrow, October 17.

Original: To celebrate three years of the Payday franchise, developer Overkill Software is making the original Payday: The Heist free—but only for a day.

The third anniversary freebies have included a Golden AK, the Old Hoxton character pack DLC, and a mask from Bain. For those of you who don't already have Payday: The Heist, however, the reward for hitting 1.05 million members in the Payday 2 Steam Group is the most significant, because it means the game will be completely free on Steam, for a 24-hour period beginning at 10 am PDT on October 16.

"This was going to happen on the 18th originally but since you guys did such an awesome job we want to give you the reward as soon as possible," Overkill Producer Almir Listo wrote. "Tell your friends and family that they can download Payday: The Heist for free on Thursday morning of October 16th at 10AM Pacific. We'll give out clear instructions on how to download it come Thursday."

That's the big news from a practical perspective, but that's not all: Reaching 1.5 million members in the Payday 2 Steam group means that Secret Stuff, represented by a winking smiley, has also been unlocked. Overkill is keeping the final unlock a secret but it will "completely overkill," according to the CrimeFest chart, and free to all members of the community when it's ready.

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.