Payday 3 Struggles to Recover as Player Count Hits New Low

Payday 3, the much-anticipated sequel to the successful Payday 2, has witnessed a stark decline in its Steam player count, reaching a new low of just over 650 players in January. This comes merely four months after its September 2023 release, signalling the lingering repercussions of a bug-ridden launch.

Shortly after hitting the digital shelves, Payday 3 faced vehement backlash from fans due to substantial server issues, hindering both co-op and solo gameplay. Although these problems were eventually rectified, dissatisfaction persisted among players who found the game lacking in content and fundamental features, such as an in-game voice chat.

Despite the development team’s commitment to addressing the game’s issues and refining it over time, the initial negative reception has evidently taken a toll on its player base. As of the latest data, the average player count for Payday 3 on Steam in January stands at a mere 656 users. In comparison, December saw an average of about 1,500 players, and the launch month of September boasted an impressive average of over 28,600 Steam users.

The disillusioned player base has, interestingly, returned en masse to Payday 2, the predecessor that garnered widespread acclaim. Payday 2 has seen a resurgence in popularity, maintaining an average user count of over 26,000 during January. This shift underscores the stark contrast between the success of Payday 2 and the uphill battle Payday 3 currently faces to win back its audience.

Payday 3’s Player Count History on Steam (Average Monthly Users):

  • September 2023: 28,621
  • October 2023: 5,996
  • November 2023: 1,114
  • December 2023: 1,556
  • January 2024: 656 (as of January 29)

In a recent communication, Payday 3’s development team, under Starbreeze Studios, addressed concerns by acknowledging the criticisms and revealing plans to remedy the situation. Starbreeze Studios has assembled a team of seasoned developers to tackle the game’s various issues, promising fans a detailed plan for upcoming improvements in February.

While the studio has made efforts to enhance the game, Payday 3 still grapples with notable shortcomings. Notable updates in late November, including two free heists, a new skill line, and animations, were followed by additional content in December, including paid DLC. However, these updates failed to reignite player interest, prompting Starbreeze Studios to focus on substantial future updates to revitalize Payday 3.

The pressure is on for Payday 3’s development team, as they aim to implement significant improvements before the game risks being overshadowed by competitors. An example of this potential competition is Den of Wolves, an upcoming co-op heist FPS game developed by 10 Chambers, co-founded by Ulf Andersson, one of the original creators of Payday and Payday 2. Set in a futuristic cyberpunk city, the game poses a potential threat to Payday 3’s market share.

As Payday 3 grapples with its current challenges, the gaming community eagerly awaits the detailed improvement plan promised for February. The fate of Payday 3 hinges on the success of these upcoming updates, as it endeavours to regain the trust and enthusiasm of its player base in the fiercely competitive world of online gaming.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
Founder | Head of PR At Nerd Bite, we are lucky to have Sam on our team. He is an expert in online PR, social media strategy, e-commerce, and news websites, with a wealth of knowledge that makes him a valuable asset. Sam's experience and skills have helped us deliver successful campaigns for clients and stay ahead of the competition. With his contributions, we are confident that we will continue to provide high-quality content and services to our readers and partners.

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