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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Re: PAYDAY 2 Microtransactions Follow-up
Oct 26, 2015, 12:45
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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
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