‘Payday 2’ Producer Doubles Down on Controversial Microtransactions

Overkill/505 Games
Overkill/505 Games

Payday 2 producer Almir Listo defended the addition of microtransactions to the game in a recent Reddit AMA in response to overwhelming community backlash at a decision to do the very thing Listo himself previously shamed his fans for suggesting.

We’ve made it clear that Payday 2 will have no microtransactions whatsoever (shame on you if you thought otherwise!)

The addition is a typical system of locked items and keys. During heists, players will have a chance to receive safes or the much rarer drills. Drills will open these safes, some of which contain items with various beneficial stat boosts. The recipient can either keep these items, or trade them through Steam.

This is symptomatic of a growing trend to incorporate F2P wallet-sifting strategies in major releases, bolstering developer and publisher earnings with purchases to unlock content or give advantages to players who invest in various enhancements. Listo believes that the concept will work for Payday 2.

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.

Opening a safe will cost you $2.50 USD. Overkill also plans to host occasional events to help players acquire additional drills. Needless to say, the AMA has done little to calm loyal consumers. Less than twenty-four hours after the AMA, one of the Payday 2 subreddit moderators resigned due to the decision.

Declining sales are the given reason for the sudden change in Payday 2′s proven business model. Listo claims that the decision to incorporate in-game microtransactions did not occur until after their disappointment in response to the game’s permanent drop in price.

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. 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.

In addition, Overkill recently tripled its development team, because they claim to “want to create more than what we and [publisher] 505 Games agreed on. We want to do everything we can to make PAYDAY 2 as awesome as possible.”

Thus far, Overkill has remained unmoved by the protests of the Payday 2 community. Time will tell whether jumping on the in-game microtransaction bandwagon will prove to be successful. In the end, we all vote with our wallets.

Follow Nate Church on Twitter @Get2Church.

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