Payday 3 may have finally secured a notable publishing partner following a series of unfortunate events that left publisher Starbreeze Studios in a financial rut.
Taking to Twitter earlier today, known Xbox Game Studios insider Álvaro claimed that Microsoft has possibly agreed to publish Payday 3 and help fund the ongoing development of the long-awaited sequel.
Should an agreement be reached between all parties involved, it goes without saying that Payday 3 will potentially be part of Xbox Game Pass at launch.
Nos mantenemos firmes y confiamos en nuestros esfuerzos para crear un acuerdo editorial con un socio que es tan apasionado de los juegos como servicio como Starbreeze y listo para unirse a nosotros en el exitoso lanzamiento de PAYDAY 3."
— Álvaro – eXtas1s 👽 #XboxRadio #XboxGameStudios (@eXtas1stv) February 21, 2021
Starbreeze Studios published its earnings report for the fourth quarter ended of the 2020 financial year last week. The report stated that a publishing agreement is about to close and that Payday 3 will be releasing somewhere in 2022 or 2023.
The earnings report (below) did not mention Microsoft by name but the mention of a “games as a service” and a “stable platform” by a “passionate” publisher may as well be for Microsoft.
“Through the proven strength of the Payday franchise and a highly dedicated development team we now have a stable platform that supports the continued successful development of Payday 3.
“We are standing strong and confident in our efforts to close a publishing agreement with a partner that is as passionate about games as a service as Starbreeze is and ready to join us in the successful launch of Payday 3.”
Payday 3 was announced back in 2016 when Starbreeze Studios acquired full rights to the franchise from publisher 505 Games. The deal stated that 505 will receive a third of all revenue from sales of the sequel once Starbreeze has recouped its development and marketing costs. That however never came to pass due to financial burdens which forced Starbreeze to even sell off publishing rights to games like Psychonauts 2 and System Shock 3 in order to stay afloat.
Payday 3 has hence been searching for a publishing partner to help fund development for a few years now. Microsoft would be a prime opportunity because as it has become evident, any game to hit Xbox Game Pass has seen gold.