Starbreeze Buys Back Payday 2 Rights, Ditches Micro-Transactions Once and for All

By Matt Wales on at

Once upon a time, developer Overkill made a cooperative heist shooter called Payday 2. It promised that micro-transactions would never, ever, ever appear in the game. Sometime later, Starbreeze Studios, which owns Overkill, joined forces with publisher 505 Games and, lo, micro-transactions fell upon the game like a disgusting, parasitic pox. Needless to say, fans were peeved.

So that's your backstory. Now it's time for your, uh, frontstory. To celebrate Payday 2's 100th anniversary (which is to say, its 100th update anniversary, rather than its 100 year anniversary, because...history), Overkill has revealed that micro-transactions will be banished from the game forever.

Specifically, Payday 2's safe drops, which contain enhanced weapons and require paid-for drills to open, will now be accessible to all.

That's been made possible, in part, thanks to some business-related shenanigans in which Starbreeze Studios has brought back the rights to Payday 2, and the Payday franchise as a whole (including a mentioned-but-not-exactly-confirmed Payday 3), from 505. The move has cost Starbreeze $30 million if you're interested in that kind of thing and, in return, 505 now owns 4.3% of the company, with a 1.4% vote share.

Additionally, as part of its 100th update celebrations, Overkill has revealed that it will support Payday 2 for at least another 18 months - during which time, we might well see a brand-new biker character, judging by its E3 2016 teaser video. Unless that noise is a tractor; I'm no expert, and whatever's making it is making it offscreen.