June 26, 2016 2:46 am
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4 Million Community Members!

The community has just reached 4 million members. Wow! Thank you all so much.

What a few weeks it has been. First we get update 100 out the door and free up the Black Market. In one fell swoop we reversed the most hated addition to our game and essentially ended microtransactions.

With update 100 a few weeks ago we announced that we are making the Black Market free along with news about a new skill system, as well as adding a free grenade explosive to all players (removing one argument that the game is “pay to win” by giving all players access to all damage types). Additionally, we announced that we acquired all the rights to the PAYDAY-franchise from our publisher 505 Games.

How do you celebrate reaching 100 updates or reaching 4 million community members? How many games will ever reach that far, and how do we as a developer answer the expectations built up around an epic centennial update? Many nights in the office were spent discussing what kind of offering we could present the Hype God that would be pleasing enough. While the offering seems so obvious in hindsight, it was unfathomable before being uttered:

“What if we remove all microtransactions?”. Brilliant. Why didn’t anyone dare to think of this before?

The reason is this: money. We need money to make video games. But in order to make video games, we also need players. Happy players.

The addition of microtransactions and the implementation of the Steam marketplace in the form of weapon skins was always our own idea. Before we launched PAYDAY 2 in 2013, we had no intention whatsoever of adding microtransactions to the game. In fact, you in the community were so vocal about your opinions that we had to clarify our stance to our players before the release of the game, as you were worried that our weapon modification system was going to use an MT system. We wanted to make this point abundantly clear, and on the SPUF forums I personally wrote the infamous “PAYDAY 2 will have no microtransactions whatsoever (shame on you if you thought otherwise!)”.

To explain it better, let us go back to 2015, two years after the game was released and we were working on post-launch content for PAYDAY 2. In 2015 the crew had tripled in size, pushing new content out the door faster than ever before. As we increased the amount of developers and thus the amount of content on PAYDAY 2, we were also looking at new, engaging ways to retain and amuse our community. What to do? After months of discussions, we believed we found a way.

We love working on PAYDAY 2. We want to continue working on PAYDAY 2 as long as players permit us and we want to continue making bigger, better and cooler content for our players. You can only do that if we have the continued support of the community and make money. As time passed, sales declined. We pushed out DLC to cover costs, but we felt there was more to be done to create a more diversified way to retain revenue and not tax the players with only DLC. So we found a clever way – or so we thought – on how to add another layer to the game that people could enjoy, while at the same time making a small profit margin. We introduced the Black Market.

Suffice to say, the reception was horrendous. You hated it, and us for it. You felt betrayed, you were angry with us and media covered the outrage thoroughly. It was difficult for us developers, but we endured, as we believed it was for a greater good – the continued survival of the game.

[mdlune.tumblr.com]

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A New Beginning

While the Black Market update has made us a fair amount of money, it did so at the cost of player and community happiness. Something was lost, and it has not been the same since. Our players felt it, and we felt it too. While we’ve done the utmost to stand by our decision, you have to realize when it’s time to think different. With update 100, we hope to have found the perfect opportunity to break the curse and start anew.

Like we said when update 100 came out, we have updated the Black Market so that going forward, any safe that is released will be for free, starting with Rust’s safe that was launched this Thursday. No purchase of drills required. Previously, you got angry at the sight of a safe in your loot drop. By changing how the system works, we hope that we can get you to appreciate the content and be excited when you now receive a safe.

We have already seen positive effects of changing the old Black Market and us trying to make amends. We currently enjoy 100% overwhelmingly positive approval on Steam in the past 30 days which is mind-blowing. You seem to be able to focus on enjoying the game, and discussions can focus on the game itself rather to questions about stuff happening around the game. People have been telling others to check the game out, which is very humbling. Any action you do that might lead to a sale supports the continued development of the game. Thank you all for your support.

An Apology

Some players seem to think that we haven’t properly apologized for what we did last year. We think it’s important to realize that we can’t be sorry for wanting the best for the game, trying to work on the game and improving it, ensuring its continued development. What we can be sorry for however is the pain we caused to community members who’s trust we broke by doing what we did. We apologize. You have helped teach us that there are better ways to release new systems into post-launch development. You have also made it clear on where else we need to improve, like our communications, transparency and more. For this we thank you and hope you accept our apology.

Throughout these past five years of PAYDAY 2 development, there has been one single constant. The unwavering support of our community, and that of our publishing partner 505 Games. Through the years, our players have supported our every decision known and unknown to them. 505 Games has been with us from the beginning of the project, and have been there to support and guide us when we had no other bandwidth than for developing the game. The perfect scenario for any game developer. It is in part thanks to 505 Games and their incredible support that PAYDAY 2 is what it is today, and that we now had the opportunity to acquire the full rights and bring the franchise back home.

[mdlune.tumblr.com]

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Thank You!

We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to 505 Games and thank you to our community. We will stay committed to listening to your feedback and extend our PAYDAY 2 support until at least the end of 2017. Thank you all fellow heisters, keep those helmets flying. We will continue robbing banks and getting paid. Thank you all for supporting us and for continuing to believe in us. We salute you!

When we in the OVERKILL crew see each other come Monday we’ll talk about what we should do to celebrate reaching 4 million community members. Stay tuned for more information on that.

TL;DR: We tried something new, we screwed up, we apologize, we’re still alive and kicking and want to continue making PAYDAY 2 better all the time. Thank you for being a part of it and please be patient as we come up with something nice to give you!

Almir

OVERKILL – a Starbreeze Studio.

Via: Steam Community