Payday 3 Developer Starbreeze Still Isn't Profitable

Published: August 22, 2022 11:33 AM /


The main cast of Starbreeze's upcoming Payday 3

A new financial report has shown that Payday studio Starbreeze is still failing to turn a profit, although the company has managed to reduce its losses compared to last year. Despite these struggles, Payday 3 development is apparently continuing at pace.

Why is Starbreeze struggling to make a profit?

In the report, Starbreeze points to various factors as reasons for its lack of profitability. These factors include COVID-19, the Ukraine war, rising interest rates, and falling stock prices. Starbreeze points out that although there's still strong demand for gaming industry employees, the studio's sales were down on last year's, "like most other gaming companies". The studio points to an "uncertain" economy that was previously "buoyant" as another potential reason for its underperformance, too.

Here are some of the raw numbers. Starbreeze says its overall net sales reached 31.8 million SEK (around $2.97 million), which, as points out, is a drop of around 4.7%. PC sales for Starbreeze totaled 24.7 million SEK (about $2.3 million), a drop of around 9%, and console sales jumped by about 19% to 5.5 million SEK. In general, Starbreeze's fortunes fell a little this year, although since there was a lot of competition for games in the first half of 2022 and Starbreeze doesn't have anything major that's new out right now, these numbers make sense.

A squad of imposing-looking soldiers in Starbreeze Studios' Payday 2
Starbreeze Studios isn't making a profit, but thanks to the Payday franchise, the company doesn't seem too worried.

Even though Starbreeze isn't currently profitable, the studio points to the Payday franchise as its not-so-secret weapon. Work on Payday 3, which was announced in 2017 and subsequently picked up Plaion (then Koch Media) as a co-publisher in 2021, is apparently proceeding "according to [the] development plan". Additionally, sales of Payday 2 are still strong, no doubt bolstered by the fact that the game continues to receive updates and DLC semi-regularly. In fact, it's the Payday 2 community that Starbreeze says will be instrumental in the "strong and successful launch" of Payday 3 when it lands next year.

So what's next for Starbreeze Studios?

Right now, it seems that Starbreeze is focused pretty much entirely on Payday 3, which it says will reach its "peak in the fall of 2022". The studio also says it's looking to develop more games and products based on the Payday IP, so look out for those. That's in addition to the beta for mobile game Payday: Crime War, which launched this last December (albeit to a select audience). It's all go with the Payday franchise right now, apparently.

Payday: Crime War, a mobile shooter developed by Starbreeze
There are lots of Payday-related games and media ventures in the works right now, apparently. Also, get a load of that old-school iPhone.

It's not just Payday, though. Starbreeze says it's also got "projects to develop new IPs and new games" in the works. Specifically, the studio is currently working on a new IP that it hopes to launch sometime in 2025. There aren't any more details about that game right now, though, so we'll just have to wait and see if the studio announces something new in the near future.

Starbreeze has struggled with its finances for a while now. The studio suffered a pretty dismal 2019 and didn't really manage to recover its finances to a great degree over the following few years, and the conviction of its former CFO Sebastian Ahlskog on insider trading charges in 2020 can't have helped. Here's hoping that Starbreeze can start turning its fortunes around and that Payday 3 represents the start of a new era for the company. We'll bring you more on this as we get it, of course.


Have a tip, or want to point out something we missed? e-mail us at [email protected] or join us on Discord!


More Info About This Game
Learn more about Payday 3
Game Page Payday 3
Starbreeze Studios
Deep Silver
Release Date
September 21, 2023 (Calendar)