Payday 3 is finally here, but it is struggling quite a bit. The Payday series is one of the most beloved co-op franchises on the market and part of that is because of how well it is supported. Payday 2 was released back in 2013 and a sequel is only just now coming out. The second game was supported for years with console ports, big updates, and more. There was some criticism directed at the console versions as they weren't as well-supported as the PC version, but nevertheless, it still remained a fan-favorite with those on Xbox and PlayStation. With promises that the console version of Payday 3 would be better supported this time, fans were eager for a new game in the series and now that it's finally here, players are pretty frustrated.
Payday 3 launched earlier this week with three days of early access to those who shelled out some extra money and yesterday for standard edition owners and Xbox Game Pass subscribers. Unfortunately, the week has been filled with issues. On day one, PlayStation 5 players who paid $30 extra to play early wasted one day of early access because the wrong version of the game was released, resulting in players getting an out of date build. Starbreeze stated that this was out of their control and Sony was working to fix the matter. A day later, the correct build of the game was pushed to PlayStation players. PC players have also reported issues with frame rate being inconsistent and prompting poor performance.
Payday 3 Matchmaking Issues
Matters became much worse when the game was released for all players on September 21st. Per SteamDB, the game peaked at over 77,000 concurrent Steam players and was the best-seller on the platform, but just over 24 hours after launch, the game currently has just over 7,000 concurrent players on Steam. The reason is because the matchmaking basically doesn't work. Servers appear to be getting slammed and since this is an "always online" game, you can't do anything besides the tutorial if matchmaking doesn't work. Even those trying to play with a full squad in a private match or friends only lobby will be stuck in an extended searching for match screen. I personally spent about 20 minutes last night looking for a match with two of my friends and we eventually gave up and got off the game.
On the morning of September 22nd, the Payday Twitter account reported that the issues were resolved. Unfortunately, things went back to being broken shortly after this and as of writing, there continues to be a matchmaking issue. It's pretty frustrating to see and has once again caused players to demand games drop the always-online functionality so they can at least play with AI in games when there are server issues. Otherwise, as we're currently seeing, there is no incentive for anyone to play the game and player counts will drop rapidly. Hopefully, things will be fixed soon so players can enjoy the game over the weekend, but it remains to be seen.
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