Payday 3's challenging launch continues unabated, as Steam concurrent player tracking shows that Payday 2 is currently seeing over 10 times Payday 3's player total. Initial player totals for Payday 3 were encouraging, with a reported 1.3 million players trying the game over its launch weekend. Those numbers have rapidly dropped as Payday 3 struggles with serious server and matchmaking issues, as well as PC performance problems. Frustrations have even prompted Starbreeze to issue a recent apology.
The latest release in the popular heist game franchise launched one month ago on September 21. While highly anticipated due to the previous Payday games' popularity, there were questions about Payday 3 even prior to launch. Confirmation that Payday 3 would be an always-online game was particularly criticized, but its lengthy development time and shift in developers from Overkill Software to Starbreeze had many fans worried. Unfortunately, those worries appear to have been substantiated.
According to data tracking by SteamDB, Payday 3's daily concurrent player totals have dropped so low that it's being significantly overshadowed by its predecessor. The 24-hour peak for Payday 3's concurrent player totals shows it reached just 3,676 on Steam. Payday 2, over the same period of time, reached 39,182 concurrent players. Payday 2's numbers are over 10 times those of Payday 3's, and Payday 3's downward trend implies that it won't be climbing again anytime soon.
Heisters, we are sorry that we have been quiet the past few days. We have put together a post explaining where we are with the upcoming patch, you can read more about it here: https://t.co/pswVNEAxFH— PAYDAY 3 (@PAYDAYGame) October 25, 2023
To reiterate, these are numbers taken from Steam and don't include other platforms. Payday 3 is also available on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, as well as via PC Game Pass. It's entirely possible that Payday 3 is performing better elsewhere. Steam also isn't an island, however, and could very well be representative of Payday 3's overall player numbers.
Starbreeze isn't going to be able to rebuild a playerbase for Payday 3 overnight, and it's very aware of that. In a statement issued on Wednesday, Starbreeze apologized for the lack of communication in recent weeks. It made clear that it's listening to Payday fans' criticism and that it's working on updates for the new game. In fact, the first Payday 3 patch is currently being tested and certified.
Depending on how substantial this first Payday 3 patch is, it could certainly bring players back to the game. That's not a guarantee, though. Regaining players' trust comes first. Then, if Payday 3 is fun and worth playing, players may come back in waves. Clearly, there are still a lot of Payday fans out there. They're just playing Payday 2.
Payday 3 is available now on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
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