PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up

A reddit AMA with Overkill Software discusses PAYDAY 2 and the just-concluded Crimefest event for the heist shooter (thanks GameSpot). Unsurprisingly, the game's recently addedd microtransactions also come up, as despite changes to how they work, customers are still unhappy, since Overkill promised the game would not feature microtransactions (some angry fans have launched a The Road From Greedfest website [thanks Polygon] to parody the situation). After an initial answer in the AMA explains this allows them to provide more content than planned, there's this follow-up for people not satisfied with that explanation, tossing a lot of blame at the gaming press for not making this more palatable:
Two and a half years ago, during development of PAYDAY 2 and in the build-up for its release, myself and then Game Director David Goldfarb said that there would be no microtransactions in PAYDAY 2. At the time, there were games that were released with in-game microtransaction systems at launch; players were asked to pay for the full game, and then continue to spend money directly after the initial purchase. At the time, PAYDAY 2 featured a relatively advanced weapon modifications system where players for in-game money could buy, sell and modify weapons, masks and modifications. When we discussed this with people, we'd receive a ton of questions regarding whether or not it was microtransactions or not in our game too. To make sure there was no confusion, we said what we did to make things absolutely clear. If you asked me then, there would be no way we would've added a system like we just did.

Fast forward to today, two and a half years later, and the addition of the Black Market update. There's been a lot of articles written by a lot of people claiming a lot of things about us, our intentions and the effect this has on the community as a whole and the future of PAYDAY 2. It’s a bit hard to take some of these people serious when you know they don’t even play the game. One contributor on an esteemed website even said: "An earlier version of this post called the game "competitive multiplayer" as I wrongly believed there was a competitive component. There isn't and I apologize for the error. However, paying real-world money to perform better in a multiplayer game even without PvP is still a problem." I think the problem here really is people in positions of power in media and elsewhere making uninformed, clickbait articles about things that matter a lot to a lot of people, instead of doing some serious legwork to get their facts straight.

Since we released PAYDAY 2 back in 2013, the OVERKILL crew working on the project has more than tripled in size. From 25 developers to today with 75 developers. This allows us to create better content more often across several platforms. Like we've said in the past, we do free updates when we can, and paid DLC when we have to. As our ambition for PAYDAY 2 post-launch has grown, we’ve hired more people to help us make it happen. New stuff include everything to the drive feature to the comeback of the First World Bank and Slaughterhouse from PAYDAY: The Heist.

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. We do sales when we can where we reduce the price point up to 75% in order to pay people's wages and create a buffer for a rainy day. Six months ago, we also made a bold move to permanently reduce the price point of 16 PAYDAY 2 products by 33-43% in the hopes of drawing additional sales. (http://www.overkillsoftware.com/games/meltdown/ ). Needless to say, 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.

This is how it works: - In the in-game loot drop, players now can receive a safe or a drill - A safe can be opened by a drill which then generates an item that can be traded in the Steam Marketplace - Items are weapon skins, where some provide a small stat boost to the weapon its applied on - Drills, safes and weapon skins can be traded using the Steam Marketplace - From time to time, live events will allow players to get free drills and safes, and the item inside can then be traded on the market - Drills can also be purchased for 2,50$

The reason why we didn't want to discuss this was that it wasn't fully launched until after Crimefest. Not in our wildest dreams could we anticipate the type of reaction that the update received during the first few days. Day by day people calmed down and started to discuss the changes - and here we are, discussing this now.
There are several arguments as to why we think stat boosts are OK to have in PAYDAY 2, and here are three; - The game is balanced around the vanilla experience, that is, the game without any DLC. When we add any new difficulties, enemies, features, heists or otherwise, we balance this in relation to the base game. - PAYDAY 2 is a player-versus-environment game. You and your three friends play together against the AI; you lose together and you win together. Any advantage your friends have will only benefit the success of the group. - Making sure that the boosts are balanced in such a way that it doesn't impare on the player's experience. This is an ongoing effort on our side.

We understand that there is a lot of fury, anger and disappointment with us adding this. From an economical standpoint however, completely based on statistics, we can already see that the Black Market update is working as we intended. Going forward, we hope we can convince the parts of the community that resist this change that this was the right decision to do to ensure the stability of OVERKILL as an independent developer and the future growth of PAYDAY 2.
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24.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 27, 2015, 07:04
Bub
24.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 27, 2015, 07:04
Oct 27, 2015, 07:04
Bub
 

Payday devs follow up is your basic P2W rationalization, i.e. It's not pay to win because there is the possibility to get the same items as drops. Yes the items do drop but usually at insanely low drop rates that mean it could take you months of grinding and getting wiped by P2W players until you eventually get lucky.

Another game goes Whaler.
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... I miss BBS..
"There is a sucker born every minute." - PT Barnum
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23.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 22:55
23.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 22:55
Oct 26, 2015, 22:55
 
Game has always been great value and it has staying power, I'd want to get a bit of residual low cost low risk profits out of it.

Steam sales see the DLC go for peanuts so I grab it then like with Crusader Kings 2 DLC. Both amazing, replayable games with ongoing content drops and support years after release.
22.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 22:35
Quboid
 
22.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 22:35
Oct 26, 2015, 22:35
 Quboid
 
I wonder how many other studios are watching this and saying "erm, you know that pay to win mechanic we were thinking of adding? Let's not!".
Avatar 10439
21.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 21:30
21.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 21:30
Oct 26, 2015, 21:30
 
The fact remains that they reduced the effectiveness of weapons in the game pretty much across the board, and the only way to bring them back up to par is to gamble real money on a random chance at getting these stat-increasing weapon skins. They finally got too greedy and I'm glad it's biting them in the ass.
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.
20.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 18:29
20.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 18:29
Oct 26, 2015, 18:29
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 26, 2015, 13:37:
Gaming Press? Paid shills more like. Look at Legends of the Sword Coast and all the glowing praise they received for previews. Compared to what was actually delivered I honestly think there's some sort of payola scandal going on here.

Maybe another sex for press scandal would be uncovered if the 'gaming press' actually were real journalists.

This Payday guy sounds like he deserves all the backlash (and loss of future income) he's getting.
19.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 18:16
19.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 18:16
Oct 26, 2015, 18:16
 
yep, another one bites the dust

bye bye and good fucking riddance
18.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 18:03
18.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 18:03
Oct 26, 2015, 18:03
 
If only half of the totaly copies of payday 2 sold aorix 4.5 mil buy any dlc and if those people only half bought the DLC at 75% off they still make an average of 2 mil a dlc. somehow i think think the numbers are much higher then that for instance if the other half bought it at full price it pull in 18 mil totaly 20 mil a dlc aprox each there are 23 dlc averages at for and aprox 460 mil on dlc sales alone toped with an aprox 120 mil more in games sales totaly 580 mil in total. now cost it does cost them a team of now 75 dev at 50k a year aprox 3.75 mil a month to keep that team going with the game being out a about 2 years costing them about a max of 90 mil in total probably a lot less since the dev team started with just 25. So there is 490 mil in there coffers I can only assume that someone at that company just bought themself a small castle on a private island because somehow there hurting for cash is total BS just admit you greedy buggers. i am all for people making money but jeez dont lie about it
17.
 
Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Expands; New Ship Added
Oct 26, 2015, 18:01
17.
Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Expands; New Ship Added Oct 26, 2015, 18:01
Oct 26, 2015, 18:01
 
A point of note the small stat boost just gives you back what there balance cut out of your stats
16.
 
Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Expands; New Ship Added
Oct 26, 2015, 18:00
16.
Re: Star Citizen Arena Commander Expands; New Ship Added Oct 26, 2015, 18:00
Oct 26, 2015, 18:00
 
If only half of the totaly copies of payday 2 sold aorix 4.5 mil buy any dlc and if those people only half bought the DLC at 75% off they still make an average of 2 mil a dlc. somehow i think think the numbers are much higher then that for instance if the other half bought it at full price it pull in 18 mil totaly 20 mil a dlc aprox each there are 23 dlc averages at for and aprox 460 mil on dlc sales alone toped with an aprox 120 mil more in games sales totaly 580 mil in total. now cost it does cost them a team of now 75 dev at 50k a year aprox 3.75 mil a month to keep that team going with the game being out a about 2 years costing them about a max of 90 mil in total probably a lot less since the dev team started with just 25. So there is 490 mil in there coffers I can only assume that someone at that company just bought themself a small castle on a private island because somehow there hurting for cash is total BS just admit you greedy buggers. i am all for people making money but jeez dont lie about it
15.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 17:50
15.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 17:50
Oct 26, 2015, 17:50
 
Creston wrote on Oct 26, 2015, 15:33:
the tl;dr version:

- We said no microtransactions.
- We're having to put the game on sale from time to time to pay our employees.
- We lowered the cost on several items to try to bring in more money to pay our employees.
- None of this worked, so we decided to triple the size of our team.
- ?
- No, really. We weren't making enough money to pay everyone, so we decided to triple the size of our team.
- ????
- Stop looking at us like that!
- Oh... now we need to make even more money to pay all our employees.
- So, microtransactions?
- Microtransactions.
- We know we said we weren't going to do them, but...
- None of you like them, but apparently a lot of you are buying them, because we're making more money.
- PROFIT! See?! We're geniuses!


really tl;dr version

We're indie devs. Pity us.
Steam: SpectralMeat
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14.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 17:07
14.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 17:07
Oct 26, 2015, 17:07
 
I recall reading, before the game's release, they made back the entirety of the development costs on pre-orders.

I also recall seeing Payday 2 constantly on the top selling Steam charts.

Then there's the DLC, which, despite what they said here, do include game-changing weapons and modifications, some flat-out better than others.

Then there's also, as others have stated, their yearly financials, which showed them to be in pretty damn good shape.

After 600 hours into the game, I uninstalled after the drill update. Had enough of their bullshit. Sad, as the core mechanics of the game are really, really well done. Wish those designers and coders would break off and form a new studio.

Oh, and "small stat boost"? Has this asshole played his own game? A "small stat boost" in the game is a big fucking deal. Christ.
Avatar 13188
13.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 16:23
13.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 16:23
Oct 26, 2015, 16:23
 
Maybe their next venture could be selling space ship renderings with the extremely vague promise of eventually letting you use them in a game setting.
Avatar 6174
12.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 16:20
12.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 16:20
Oct 26, 2015, 16:20
 
nin wrote on Oct 26, 2015, 15:58:
Creston wrote on Oct 26, 2015, 15:33:
ing them, because we're making more money.

DING DING DING DING DING!

If people didn't buy this shit, it wouldn't keep happening. And yet it does...

Exactly
11.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 15:58
nin
 
11.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 15:58
Oct 26, 2015, 15:58
 nin
 
Creston wrote on Oct 26, 2015, 15:33:
ing them, because we're making more money.

DING DING DING DING DING!

If people didn't buy this shit, it wouldn't keep happening. And yet it does...

10.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 15:33
10.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 15:33
Oct 26, 2015, 15:33
 
the tl;dr version:

- We said no microtransactions.
- We're having to put the game on sale from time to time to pay our employees.
- We lowered the cost on several items to try to bring in more money to pay our employees.
- None of this worked, so we decided to triple the size of our team.
- ?
- No, really. We weren't making enough money to pay everyone, so we decided to triple the size of our team.
- ????
- Stop looking at us like that!
- Oh... now we need to make even more money to pay all our employees.
- So, microtransactions?
- Microtransactions.
- We know we said we weren't going to do them, but...
- None of you like them, but apparently a lot of you are buying them, because we're making more money.
- PROFIT! See?! We're geniuses!


really tl;dr version

We're indie devs. Pity us.

This comment was edited on Oct 26, 2015, 15:40.
Avatar 15604
9.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 13:40
Cutter
 
9.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 13:40
Oct 26, 2015, 13:40
 Cutter
 
yonder wrote on Oct 26, 2015, 10:27:
Good to see they're still avoiding the actual issue.

Also... why the hell don't people understand how and when to use "myself"? It's really not that difficult.

Then again, this is a world where "zero" is the same as "no" so who am I to complain...

Zero means it doesn't exist. So zero chance of it happening is the exact same thing as saying, 'No, it won't happen.' How is that in anyway confusing?

"I like dogs playing poker... because dogs would never bet on things; so it's incongruous. I like incongruity." - Christian Wolff
Avatar 25394
8.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 13:37
Cutter
 
8.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 13:37
Oct 26, 2015, 13:37
 Cutter
 
Gaming Press? Paid shills more like. Look at Legends of the Sword Coast and all the glowing praise they received for previews. Compared to what was actually delivered I honestly think there's some sort of payola scandal going on here.
"I like dogs playing poker... because dogs would never bet on things; so it's incongruous. I like incongruity." - Christian Wolff
Avatar 25394
7.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 12:45
7.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 12:45
Oct 26, 2015, 12:45
 
This is a game that drew me back regularly over the years but as soon as microtransactions (with a clear influence on gameplay) were added to the game, I uninstalled. This is a line I will never cross and for me, it is simply a deal-breaker, just like for the new Tomb Raider. I don't care how optional the publisher wants to make us believe it is, unless it is some very specific cases (like in Counter Strike GO) a microtransaction is never optional, it is a psychological war because, let's face it, you don't implement such a system that you're not planning to sell.
So long Payday2 and the lying devs can go to Hell for all I care, there's a special spot for people like them
6.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 12:04
Verno
 
6.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 12:04
Oct 26, 2015, 12:04
 Verno
 
They are doing more than well enough. His attempt to play the "poor us small developers" card is offset by their financial statements which are on the Starbreeze page because they're a publicly held company. This is really just a matter of them overreaching. They just figured lets bite the bullet and do this now so that for Payday 3 people will have just accepted it. It might still work.
Playing: Xenoblade Chronicles DE, Ys IX, God of War
Watching: Lupin, You me and the Apocalypse, Days of Thunder
Avatar 51617
5.
 
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 12:00
5.
Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up Oct 26, 2015, 12:00
Oct 26, 2015, 12:00
 
We understand that there is a lot of fury, anger and disappointment with us adding this. From an economical standpoint however, completely based on statistics, we can already see that the Black Market update is working as we intended.

I don't understand how this can work in their favor. They could make five bucks off of it and it would still be a success yet they also acknowledge that they've pissed off a lot of players and have brought so much bad press upon themselves that they're already going in to damage control.

For a game which has about a million DLC packs of fluff with no end in sight, you'd think they would be doing well enough to not triple-dip in to aggressive microtransactions like a bunch of greedy dickheads. OVERKILL is a very suitable name for this particular company.
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