Developer Overkill Software faces a widespread community backlash following a recently released title update for its multiplayer heist sim Payday 2 that adds in-game microtransactions.
The studio has long been critical of microtransaction-driven gameplay structures, and previously promised its fans that such features would never be a part of Payday 2.
Payday 2‘s recent Black Market update introduced a variety of safes that can be collected during heists. Afterward, players can drill into these safes to unlock their contents, which often include weapon skins that cannot be obtained otherwise.
Players must purchase drills priced at $2.49 apiece in order to unlock a single safe. Additional drills must be purchased individually, introducing a persistent microtransaction element that did not exist in the game prior to the Black Market update.
Payday series fans raised concerns regarding the Black Market update’s affect on gameplay balance. Skins earned through safes increase weapon stats and damage output when equipped, potentially giving players who frequently buy drills an unfair advantage over players who don’t. Some fans see the change as a “pay-to-win” mechanic that rewards big spenders over skilled players.
While Payday 2 occasionally awards free drills upon successfully completing missions, the game’s microtransaction structure remains in full effect despite player protests.
Overkill responded to player complaints in a recent Reddit AMA session, but many participants feel that the company did not adequately address their concerns.
“We understand that there is a lot of fury, anger and disappointment with us adding this,” Overkill producer Almir Listo stated in response to the backlash. “From an economical standpoint however, completely based on statistics, we can already see that the Black Market update is working as we intended.”