Its been a hell of a month for Payday 2 developer’s Overkill, who have been on the receiving end of an unhappy fanbase following the introduction of safes into the game which could only be opened by purchasing drills with real money. The loot in these safes provided game altering stat boosts, providing bonuses to people willing to spend money. Previously Overkill had stated that microtransactions would never be in the game. Ever. Oops.
Overkill previously defended their actions by pointing out that the game hadn’t sold what they had wanted, and that to fund continued development a new revenue stream was needed.
“We have a partnership with our partner 505 Games, where we have a deal to produce a specific amount of content until 2017. However, we at Overkill want to create more than what we and 505 Games agreed on.
“We want to do everything we can to make PayDay 2 as awesome as possible. In order to do that, we made the decision to triple the size of the crew. To ensure that we can keep the size of the team, we decided that the best approach was to introduce the Black Market update to the game.”
Overkill added the chance of getting drills for free in loot drops, and remained unapologetic for the inclusion of microtransactions despite fan backlash.
And then, just last week they introduced weapon skins that also boosted XP and cash acquisition. At this point even the voluntary community moderators decided enough was enough and hung up their banhammers.
Now, Overkill are attempting to mollify their community. In an open letter they state, “The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging in the history of this community. Players have been angry with us, media have written about us en masse and our volunteer moderators went on strike. For all the distress we’ve caused the past few weeks, I’d just like to take the time and say that we’re sorry. We’ve done a lot of things right in the past, but these past few weeks we screwed up. ”
They also listed some things they had been doing, including having a sit-down meeting with two of moderators to discuss what the community wanted, saying, “Regarding stat boosts, Ashley and Jones suggested that we introduce something similar to StatTrak as part of future safes, a feature used in CS:GO in their cases. This is something we’ve been thinking about as well, and something that we will discuss going forward.”
Overkill also promised to become active within the community by having eight members of the team engage in the forums. “For some time we haven’t been active in our own forums. We’ve been reading your feedback and clearing bugs, but we haven’t engaged you in discussions. This has alienated us somewhat, and for that we apologize. Starting next week, you will see the presence 8 different OVERKILL members talking to you in discussions and taking an active role in the community.”
They also promised a meeting with I Am Not A Spy, a prominent modder, and PeaseMaker, the most active Russian player of the game.
The interesting thing is that the apology isn’t much of an apology. Really, they are saying sorry for causing distress and for poor communication, but there’s no mention of removing microtransactions or fixing the problems the community now have with the game, so it seems that microtransactions are here to stay and that Overkill plan on trying to mitigate backlash while waiting for it to blow over.