While we're constantly being told that production budgets on games are “skyrocketing” (and this is true insofar as marketing and non-development related costs go) the one thing that most whiny publishers don't talk about is that they're making more money now in a single quarter than most publishers made combined in an entire year back in the 90s. Nevertheless, Payday 2 is one of those games that's making massive amounts of money... on pre-orders alone.
We don't hear much from 505 Games, but Starbreeze Studios sent a note out to investors that Gamereactor.eu managed to get a hold of and share with the public. The news recounts numbers so impressive on the pre-order count that they are actually in the black and posting profits before the game has even launched.
You can check out what Starbreeze sent to investors by reading the investors statement below from CEO Bo Andersson-Klint...
"Today Starbreeze has once again demonstrated that our strategy of focusing on our own properties is correct. Not only have we managed to deliver a desirable product in Payday 2 but also executed a promotion that few companies of our size can. We now look forward to the royalty income that can secure the company's development of its own IP in the future. That Payday 2 generates revenue for the company six days before the release is of course very unusual for games of this size and strengthens the long-term nature of our strategy,"
This is neither shocking nor surprising, but well-deserved for a game that steps clearly outside of the typical box.
I'll say this: the coverage of Payday 2 showed gamers something worth investing in and the smart move by developers to allow a beta program showed confidence in the product. A good game doesn't need to hide behind a $50 million dollar advertising campaign or a $100 million dollar marketing program. If your game is good and people catch wind of it, they will buy it. It's as simple as that.
Payday 2, oddly enough, feels like the sort of thing that could have been a Kickstarter success given its obvious step away from the traditional methods of gameplay. In addition to this, the game has a lot of procedural mission parameters that change on each play-through, creating all new ways of interaction and challenge for gamers that we don't oftentimes see in games with AAA-sized production budgets.
Simply put, Payday 2 was designed to be fun and replayable unlike a lot of the junk coming out of publishing studios that seem to milk the gaming industry and YOUR money like leeches from a swamp.
It was pretty obvious Payday 2 was going to hit sleeper-hit status given a few factors: It's appropriately priced, it doesn't waste a lot of resources on “shiny” graphics. Competition is light on the market during its build-up and release widnow, and it's a freaking awesome game set around interactive heists that you can enjoy with friends and we don't have any other games on the market like it.
Payday 2's release date has been firmly set for next week on PC and home consoles. You can learn more about this cooperative heist-shooter by paying a visit to the official website. Hopefully we can see this game profit enough for the developers to take even more risks on their next outing. Kudos to Overkill Software for making a great game and kudos to 505 for putting up the money to do something different.