You might remember Payday: The Heist as a clever riff on the multiplayer shooter; indiscriminate violence was punished, strategy was rewarded, and each of the seven levels was slightly different, every time you played it. And Payday 2 is, apparently, going to do extremely well, considering Starbreeze, the development team, has already made their money back on preorders.
It’s particularly good news because Starbreeze built the game for 505 essentially on spec, according to their investor announcement:
Not only have we managed to deliver a desirable product in Payday 2 but also executed a promotion that few companies of our size can. We now look forward to the royalty income that can secure the company’s development of its own IP in the future.
That’s a bit of a backhanded slap to EA, which hired Starbreeze to develop Syndicate as a first-person shooter. Once the game arrived to weak reviews and weaker sales, EA let Starbreeze swing.
Payday 2 is essentially the first game, but expanded to a large degree: There are now thirty heists, three times what you could get in the original game, and the mechanics have gotten a major overhaul; carrying loot now gives you a movement penalty, and you can chuck loot towards a teammate if you need to free up your hands for, say, not getting shot. In addition, bigger heists will have “phases” that unspool over a couple of days and play out largely depending on how you finish the previous phase. For example, in one heist, if you’re not detected during the theft, your escape vehicle isn’t intercepted.
But mostly it’s just pleasant, amid constant stories of publisher strife and developer closings, to hear somebody’s doing well, and doing well with a title that doesn’t run $60, no less. The more of that, the better. Payday 2 is out August 13th on Steam and between August 13th and 16th on consoles.