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Net sales down at Starbreeze as company readies for Payday-centric future

Sales have again dipped at struggling Payday 2 developer Starbreeze, which was recently granted an extended reconstruction period to give it more time to steady the ship.

Sales have again dipped at struggling Payday 2 developer Starbreeze, which was recently granted an extended reconstruction period to give it more time to steady the ship after filing for administration back in December 2018

For the third quarter ended September 30, 2019, the company saw year-over-year net sales drop to SEK 21.1 million ($2.19 million) from SEK 33.9 million ($3.52 million). Starbreeze claims that decrease is attributable to the recent sale of Indian art studio Dhruva, which brought in sales of SEK 8.8 million ($913,000) this time last year. 

The company also posted an operating loss of SEK -10.9 million (-$1.13 million) for the quarter, although that's up on the loss of SEK -37.9 million (-$3.91 million) it reported during Q3 2018. 

Focusing on the Starbreeze's games business, net sales in the segment fell to SEK 17.7 million ($1.83 million) from SEK 30.7 million ($3.19 million). The Payday franchise was effectively the company's sole earner during the quarter, bringing in SEK 17.5 million ($1.82 million)

The studio did, however, manage to reduce its operating costs to SEK 9.7 million ($1.1 million) from SEK 27 million ($2.8 million) by "trimming marketing organization and costs," and it also earned SEK 3.4 million ($353,000) from its publishing efforts -- consisting mainly of the revenue share from its sold rights to 10 Crowns

Moving forward, acting Starbreeze CEO Mikael Nermark claims the Swedish outfit will continue to "re-focus on games with in-house IP," and noted that building a sustainable future around the Payday series remains its "top priority."

"With the focusing of the business, and primarily on Payday, our goal is clear. Our focused efforts are showing effect all over our organization, which is already shown in what is being produced. The work with Payday 3, our most important future product, has intensified and we are re- working the design phase."

"We are preparing to find a good publishing partner in 2020. The key word here is partner. We are looking for someone as committed to Payday as we are, a company that can help us further develop the brand over the next ten years."

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