Starbreeze’s Payday series celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and the studio is celebrating the occasion in a number of ways. Starbreeze is marking the milestone with a week’s worth of announcements, including a new docu-series that looks back to the past and forward to the future of the heist-themed shooter series.
The series is called 10 Years of Payday, and there are four parts, each of which will dig into the Payday franchise’s legacy and impact. The first episode is focused on the origins of the series and the tumultuous time at developer Overkill Software, which went bankrupt before it made Payday.
The studio headed to E3 that year with a new game, Stone Cold, and the team even made all kinds of merch like mugs and t-shirts with that name on it. But at the last minute, publisher Sony Online Entertainment said the name needed to change because of a clash with WWE wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin.
This is just one small anecdote from Episode 1: The Beginning–be sure to watch the full thing learn a lot more about the earliest days of the game that would become Payday [it should be online soon; keep checking back for more]. New episodes will release each day, leading up to an anniversary livestream on October 22–that’s 10 years to the day after Payday: The Heist was originally released in 2011.
“A whole decade of Payday means millions of heisting hours and co-op fun. This is an incredible achievement and success for us at Starbreeze, it wouldn’t have been possible without our fantastic community that has been with us from the very beginning,” Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren said.
“Payday players and our community have stuck with us through thick and thin, and this anniversary is a great opportunity for us to look back at all we’ve achieved over the last decade, and more importantly, to dig into everything we’ve learned along the way, ensuring that Payday 3 (and beyond) are bigger and better than ever.”
Future episodes include:
- 10 Years of Payday Episode 2 – The Redemption (October 19)
- 10 Years of Payday Episode 3 – The Impact (October 21)
- 10 Years of Payday Episode 4 – The Legacy (October 22)
Additionally, Starbreeze announced that there will be “community competitions” and discounts across the Payday series, ending on October 28. And beginning October 20, there will be an in-game celebration for Payday 2 where everyone who logs in will get an Anniversary Outfit. There will also be a limited-time game mode featuring festive balloons that give you XP buffs.
In addition to the new video series and these promotions, Starbreeze will announce more details on the mobile game Payday Crime War, which will have a soft launch later this year. More news on Payday 3 is coming as well. GameSpot will have an in-depth interview with Starbreeze’s brand director Almir Listo in the days ahead.
“For 10 years, we have been robbing banks and delivering action-packed gameplay with intense co-op experiences,” Listo said. “Our four-part docuseries celebrates the decade-long impact of the PAYDAY franchise, and includes some returning familiar faces to share our most memorable moments. The last ten years of Payday have been a rollercoaster and we’re grateful for everything our community has given us. Now, we invite you to join us in celebrating, as we reminisce about the heists of yore and all of the fond memories we’ve shared. And heisters–keep your eyes peeled, as you might just get a glimpse at the next big score…”
Payday: The Heist was followed up by Payday 2 in 2013, which went on to reach 35 million downloads. The game remains very popular today, consistently ranking as one of Steam’s most-played games. The game also helped Starbreeze turn things around and become profitable again.
Payday 3 is scheduled for release in 2023, and in a big change for the series, Starbreeze signed a €50 million deal with Koch Media to fund the game. GameSpot caught up with Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren to discuss this new deal and what it means for Starbreeze and the Payday series. In our conversation, Sjögren talks about how the deal came together in the first place, the benefits of having Payday 3 now be fully funded, what Starbreeze has in mind for Payday 3’s games-as-a-service approach, and how involved Koch is in the day-to-day.
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