Two years after saying it would never introduce microtransactions into Payday 2, to the point of saying “shame on you if you thought otherwise,” developer Overkill Software did just that with last week’s Black Market update. The response to the move was predictably less than well-received, and while it’s still charting as “Mostly Positive” on its Steam page, a torrent of negativity has reduced the percentage of positive reviews from 89% when the announcement was made to 77% as of this writing.
Over the weekend, producer Amir Listo took to Reddit to try and explain his company’s stance. He explains that the dev team has tripled in size, from 25 to 75 members, which has allowed them to continue producing new content. Now, after 88 updates to the game, microtransactions are needed “to ensure the future survival of the game.”
I don’t follow Payday 2, so I can’t speak to all the issues long-time players are having, but hearing Listo describe the main part of the game’s cash shop being loot boxes that you have to pay $2.50 to open for a chance to get skins with stat bonuses… yeah, even for a totally PvE game, that makes me cringe, and not just a little.
Surprise, surprise, though, people with oversized bank accounts seem to love it. As Listo says, “From an economical standpoint however, completely based on statistics, we can already see that the Black Market update is working as we intended.”
More to the point for MMOBomb readers, though, Listo later says that taking Payday 2 free-to-play, while not an immediate concern, isn’t off the table:
Considering how Overkill Studios has conducted the move into microtransactions, I’d say it’s more a question of “when” Payday 2 goes F2P, rather than “if.” If it does, would you play it?