Mom always said “Don’t make a promise you can’t keep,” but that’s not always the easiest life code to live by. PayDay 2 developer Overkill Software is currently finding this out the hard way after introducing microtransactions to its popular first-person shooter… after promising fans that it wouldn’t.
The microtransactions that it has set up have been met with universal displeasure and actual rage on the Steam page. These transactions include safes that can only be opened by special drills that cost $2.50 in real world money and the ability to exchange loot between other players for real world cash.
The backlash from fans has been so intense that Producer Almir Listo was forced to take to an AMA on Reddit to defend his studio’s decision. Simply put, it is what it is, and the studio couldn’t survive or keep up with its partnership obligations without the additional flow of cash. In regards to Overkill’s original promise:
We didn’t see the result we anticipated, and have had to think of other ways to make sure we can continue creating content in the pace we want in order to keep PayDay 2 fresh and exciting.
We have a partnership with our partner 505 Games, where we have a deal to produce a specific amount of content until 2017. However, we at Overkill want to create more than what we and 505 Games agreed on.
We want to do everything we can to make PayDay 2 as awesome as possible. In order to do that, we made the decision to triple the size of the crew. To ensure that we can keep the size of the team, we decided that the best approach was to introduce the Black Market update to the game.
Hate to say it, but he’s right. We kick, scream, and complain about microtransactions all we want, but if a game requires extended support for a smaller studio these days, the cash has to flow. Overkill would either have to kill support of its game and start on a sequel, making fans upset for lack of support, or find new ways to make money on the current game, making fans upset for adding transactions.
There is no win/win situation here, and Overkill took the “no nobility in being poor” route. Hopefully fans will come around to seeing that and forgive them whenever a sequel comes out, too.
Two years ago people would have us instantly start work on PayDay 3, right after we released PayDay 2, like developers usually do.
Instead, we decided to continue work on PayDay 2, because we wanted to make it an incredible co-op experience. 88 updates later, we have to ensure the future survival of the game.
In the meantime, Listo went on to confirm that the cash flow has already succeeded in accomplishing what the studio wanted, so they will be staying for economic reasons. It has compromised by making the special drills random drops within the game for free.