Starbreeze cuts losses by $7.2 million, calls Payday 3 publishing talks 'positive'

Net sales are down at Payday 2 developer Starbreeze, although profits have risen significantly despite the company still recording a loss.

Net sales are down at Payday 2 developer Starbreeze, although profits have risen significantly despite the company still recording a loss. 

According to the Swedish studio's financials for the first quarter, net sales dropped to SEK 22 million ($2.3 million) from SEK 47.8 million ($4.9 million), although the company notes that's partly because it recorded a non-recurring revenue of SEK 13.2 million ($1.35 million) in Q1 2019. 

Looking at profits, the company recorded a pre-tax loss of SEK -97.3 million (-$10 million), although that's a much better result than the loss of SEK -167.3 million (-$17.2 million) it posted this time last year.

Digging into those results, Starbreeze explained the Payday franchise accounted for SEK 21.7 million ($2.2 million) of its overall SEK 22.0 million ($2.3 million) in net sales, and explained that "game development entered around Payday" remains its core business. 

The company also revealed that the release of the Payday 2: Silk Road - Cartel Business expansion coupled with changes in living conditions as a result off COVID-19 resulted in an increased demand for its products during the quarter. 

Additionally, the studio is still meeting potential partners to discuss a future publishing deal for Payday 2, and said talks are "continuing in a positive spirit" despite some of the restrictions imposed by coronavirus.

"COVID-19 has had profound impact on the world and on Starbreeze as a company. We are carefully monitoring developments, adjusting to prevailing circumstances and following the recommendations of government authorities," said the studio, explaining how it has responded to the pandemic. 

"To ensure the well-being of our people to the greatest extent possible, all employees have been working remotely since mid-March. Although this is a new situation for most, it is working well and has had no discernible effect on our productivity. 

"At the same time, we see that the previously implemented cost savings established and having full effect. We executed a directed issue during the quarter which will create stability for the company. Focus going forward will be on continuing to maintain good and high-quality production and closing the publishing agreement for Payday 3."

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