The launch of Payday 3, a highly anticipated heist shooter, has taken an unexpected turn due to persistent server issues, leaving players locked out and frustrated. The controversy surrounding the game’s always-online requirement has intensified as a result of these ongoing problems, prompting a closer look at potential changes.
The trouble began on September 21, Payday 3’s official launch where almost immediately, players encountered authentication issues, preventing them from accessing the game. Matchmaking soon became an impossible task. While some fixes were swiftly deployed the next day, they proved to be short-lived, as servers ran into fresh issues, rendering matchmaking impossible across all gaming platforms.
The predicament escalated, leaving players in the dark, unable to engage in their heist adventures, even with AI bots. This always-online aspect of Payday 3 intensified player dissatisfaction, leaving many disconnected from the game.
An official statement from Starbreeze, the game’s developer, revealed the source of the woes, stating that “Matchmaking software encountered an unforeseen error, which made it unable to handle the massive influx of players. This caused an unrecoverable situation for Starbreeze’s third-party matchmaking partner.”
Starbreeze took action by implementing new server software across all regions to address the problems. However, another setback ensued when a partner’s update introduced further instability, prolonging the player’s anguish.
Players have been clamoring for an offline option to enjoy solo heists, ahave been debating the necessity of the always-online issue. Steam rating for Payday 3 has declined significantly, with over 20,000 reviews expressing dissatisfaction and calling for a reevaluation of the always-online requirement.
In response to player concerns, Starbreeze has hinted at potential changes in a statement released on September 25, 2023. The studio is actively seeking a new third-party partner for matchmaking services and evaluating the possibility of making Payday 3 less dependent on online services, signaling a potential shift away from the controversial always-online requirement.
In a recent Twitch livestream, Payday 3’s brand director, Almir Listo, and lead producer, Andreas Häll Penninger, addressed the ongoing launch issues. While they did not confirm an offline mode, they emphasized that they are evaluating every possibility to improve the game’s player experience. Listo stated that “everything is on the table,” and they are working to address player questions as quickly as possible.
In addition to addressing player concerns, Starbreeze previously removed Denuvo, a controversial anti-piracy measure, in response to feedback from the gaming community. This move raised hopes that the developer is actively listening to player feedback and willing to make necessary changes to enhance the gaming experience.
Although the removal of the online requirement may not happen immediately, Starbreeze’s consideration of it is a positive sign for players who want a smoother Payday 3 experience, free from server issues.
The always-online setup has been a point of contention, with players questioning its necessity. Listo explained that it was intended to prevent cheating and ensure a level playing field across all platforms. However, technical issues, including an “unforeseen error” with third-party services, have hindered the game’s stability.
As the developers work to stabilize the servers and address player concerns, they have shared a list of quality-of-life improvements they are evaluating, including chat in the lobby, a ready button in the lobby, a mute button, the ability to rename loadouts, challenge improvements, mouse and keyboard support on consoles, and quickplay options.
While the future of Payday 3’s always-online requirement remains uncertain, the developers are actively engaging with the community and exploring options to enhance the game’s experience. Players are hopeful that these efforts will lead to a smoother and more enjoyable heist adventure in the near future.