Payday 3 is one of those games that seemed to be stuck in development hell. As developer Starbreeze’s main IP, the game’s success would be vital to the studio’s future, but they’d been unable to find a publisher for the game for months. That’s all changed today as the developer has signed a co-publishing agreement with Koch Media, fully financing the development of the game and guaranteeing support for 18 months after it has launched.
Koch Media has agreed to invest just under $60 million to help develop and market the title, as well as providing “games as a service” support. The latter will allow for development of new content over an initial 18 month post-launch period, although Starbreeze intends for that content to extend “long beyond the original release date”. Starbreeze’s Acting CEO, Tobias Sjögren, said:
We are excited to announce this exclusive long-term PAYDAY 3 co-publishing deal with Koch Media who shares our passion for the PAYDAY franchise and the “Games as a service” model. In addition to securing the continued development, this deal secures global publishing of PAYDAY 3 as well as the marketing efforts through the entire game life cycle. We now have a strong foundation for a successful launch of PAYDAY 3.
The latest in the Payday franchise, Payday 3 began development in 2017. Starbreeze’s CEO at the time, Bo Andersson Klint, stated the “project will enjoy as much time as we deem needed” and it would be “done when it’s done”. While that’s definitely true, especially as the game switched engines mid-development, the game will also have suffered from the financial issues that saw Starbreeze go through financial turmoil. A drastic company restructure involved the cancellation of Overkill’s The Walking Dead, selling off subsidiaries, selling publishing rights to games like System Shock 3, and laying off staff in a bid to stave off the administrators.
Originally predicted to be released in 2022-23, Starbreeze has confirmed the game will sticking to that promise but will be arriving later rather than sooner. The game is currently expected to release in 2023 for PC and unspecified consoles.