An Unreal announcement
Payday 3really needs to work out. If it doesn’t, Starbreeze’s years-long struggle to survive will probably end in tragedy.
The decline of Starbreeze has been well-documented at this point. A liquidity shortfall, organizational reconstruction, layoffs, some offloaded assets (like publishing rights and development studios) — it has been a trying couple of years for the Swedish publisher.
That’s why it’s impossible (or at least negligent) to talk about Payday 3without mentioning the stakes. But, Payday 2was — and still is — so successful that Starbreeze secured funding for Payday 3‘s development without the need to rush it out the door. In fact, this is the first official update about Payday 3in a long time:
ACCESS: PAYDAY TWITTER MANMEMBER COUNT: 100,000
REQUEST RECEIVED, ACCESSING CRIMENET…
STATUS PAYDAY 3
â˜‘ï¸CONFIRMED â˜‘ï¸DESIGN PHASEâ˜‘ï¸RELEASE DATE TBAâ˜‘ï¸UNREAL ENGINE pic.twitter.com/fqnWYEaCSg
— PAYDAY 2 ðŸ’° (@PAYDAYGame) October 3, 2020
There’s sort of a lot to glean from that tweet. Payday 3is still in the design phase meaning that developer Overkill’s production hasn’t yet ramped up on it. Things are still very conceptual as Overkill works out the foundation. Previous estimates had pegged Payday 3for launch in 2022 or 2023, so the timeline seems about right.
Also of note, Payday 3is moving to Unreal Engine — although it’s not mentioned whether Overkill is working with UE4 or UE5. This marks a significant departure for the series, as Payday 2runs on the proprietary Diesel 2.0 engine. There’s no explanation given for the switch — and this is entirely armchair analysis — but it might be partially so that contracted developers have an easier time with the tools they need to build the game.
Starbreeze’s docket of upcoming games pretty much reads as: Payday: Crime War(mobile) and Payday 3. The mobile one may find a whole bunch of success and that’d be nice, but everyone knows that Payday 3has to be the bread winner. It’s not like Starbreeze has a vault full of cash to play around with.