"We have to ensure the future survival of the game."
- Overkill's Almir Listo responds to a question on Reddit about why the studio introduced microtransactions to Payday 2 via the "Black Market" update.
Payday 2 has been a standout success for developer Overkill Software, but the Swedish studio got into a bit of hot water recently for adding microtransaction opportunities to the cooperative multiplayer heist game after promising never to do so.
Over the weekend Payday 2 producer Almir Listo took to Reddit to answer questions from the game's community about why that decision was made, and his comments shed light on how the Payday 2 "crew" is trying to cope with the cost of retaining developers on a game with declining sales.
"Two and a half years ago, during development of Payday 2 and in the build-up for its release, myself and then Game Director David Goldfarb said that there would be no microtransactions...if you asked me then, there would be no way we would've added a system like we just did," wrote Listo (Goldfarb, incidentally, left the company last year to go indie.)
"We have a deal to produce a specific amount of content until 2017. However, we at Overkill want to create more than what we and 505 Games agreed on. We want to do everything we can to make Payday 2 as awesome as possible. In order to do that, we made the decision to triple the size of the crew. To ensure that we can keep the size of the team, we decided that the best approach was to introduce the Black Market update to the game."
Listo goes on to note that Overkill has tried to keep money coming in by running sales of Payday 2 and its DLC, as well as by making permanent price cuts, but it's not enough to meet the studio's needs. He champions the addition of microtransactions as necessary to keep Overkill working on the game, and commented that the studio would also consider taking Payday 2 free-to-play if the numbers made sense.
"If going F2P would mean that the game would live longer...that'd be fantastic," he wrote. "Are we going F2P tomorrow? No. Next year? I don't know -- it depends on where we are next year."
For more of his comments on how the studio is evolving its flagship game to stay in business, check out Listo's full Reddit AMA thread.