Following the failure of the Overkill’s The Walking Dead and the dead in development of StarVR, Starbreeze underwent a period of economic uncertainty as it began laying off staff and selling off assets. Many at the time had assumed the company was ultimately finished, but reports of its demise may have come too soon as the company now has announced that Payday 3 will see a release between the window of 2022 through 2023.
Even with the announcement that Payday 3 is now in development and slated for a 2022-23 release window many are openly surprised the company is still around after rounds of layoffs and having to sell several assets.
Skepticism of whether they will even survive long enough to successfully publish this game is a prevalent topic of conversation and concern of many gamers. This fear can be put to rest slightly by understanding a publishing deal has been struck with Universal Studios Interactive Entertainment LLC for Payday Crime Stories; a title already rife with games as a service mechanics. While that title gives little hope for their future, their restructuring appears to have been successful in re-balancing the companies obligations.
Reports state the company has broken into two different corporations: Starbreeze Publishing AB will hold franchise rights and own the development houses and Starbreeze Studios AB will handle the burden of development.
If the new liability dodging structure sounds like a gross violation of both Marxist and Capitalist Economic Theory and Principles that is probably because it entirely is.
The remainder of the restructuring is likely aimed at trimming the bloat off the companies. Video game publishers, as they tend to produce more money, begin growing the publishing side of the business. A side that generates no income only optimizes the income of the development side of the business. Publishing will continue to grow till It makes up the bulk of the company’s expenditures giving rise to confirmation of the 80/20 principle of business. For an example Activision’s financials and how they spend more on management and marketing separately than they do on development of the products they sell.
As a result the prospects of the game reaching the stated release pending no further disruption at the company are solid. Whether the game will follow games as a service trends like the rest of the industry or follow the over monetization practices that at one point anger the Payday 2 audience will be seen only as the game ears up for release.