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Payday 3 Developers Explore Ditching Always-Online Amid Rocky Server Launch

Starbreeze, the studio behind Payday 3, is digging into the possibility of axing the game’s constant online requirement, all thanks to a rocky start with server problems. The game’s current status on Steam? “Mostly negative” reviews galore, mainly because players are struggling to connect to those pesky servers.

Now, I get it, Payday 3 is supposed to be all about teaming up online for some criminal escapades, but they promised you could roll solo with AI buddies. Yet, here’s the catch: the game insists on you being tethered to a server, making even that solo run a no-go thanks to these online shenanigans.

Starbreeze, in their valiant efforts, has been hustling to make things right. They’ve been tinkering with server connections and matchmaking. But guess what? They just dropped a statement that says they’re seriously thinking about tossing out or at least scaling down that always-online demand in the future.

According to the studio’s statement, Payday 3’s matchmaking system had a bit of a meltdown, failing to handle the avalanche of players. This sent their third-party matchmaking partner into a tailspin. They deployed a new matchmaking server software across the board to fix things up, and it did improve performance. But then, their partner went and pulled a software update move that knocked things off balance again. The partner is working their socks off to stabilize Payday 3’s online mojo.

Surprisingly, this mess didn’t rear its ugly head during Technical Betas or Early Access because of the unique quirks of player numbers and load balancing. So, what’s Starbreeze doing? Well, they’re brainstorming both short-term and long-term solutions.

In the short run, their priority is giving players a smoother ride. In the long run, they’re mulling over finding a new matchmaker partner and making Payday 3 a tad less dependent on online services.

Oh, and if you remember, they told us back in July that Payday 3 would be shackled to the online realm, even if you wanted to go lone wolf. Global brand director Almir Listo spilt the beans during a livestream:

“No. You will be able to play by yourself, but I do believe you will have to have a connection in order to play, because it’s made in Unreal Engine and has cross-progression and cross-play, I do believe we need you to be online.”

People didn’t exactly throw a party for that news. The game’s subreddit turned into a meme haven, with everyone joking that Payday 3 was destined for the digital graveyard.

Starbreeze’s CEO, Tobias Sjögren, chimed in with a fresh statement, admitting they’ve got some bridges to rebuild with players who got burned by the rocky launch.

“We are disappointed in the issues our playerbase has faced during our launch weekend, but we are confident in our core product and the quality of Payday 3 – and all available metrics point to it,” he said.

“We have a lot of diligent and consistent work ahead of us to regain community trust, but we will work hard to do it.”

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