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Payday 3 studio Starbreeze is investigating the possibility of removing the game’s always-online requirement, following major server issues at launch.
The game currently has “mostly negative” reviews on Steam, due to players having problems connecting to the servers.
Although Payday 3 is a team-based online game, it’s possible to play solo with AI bots as squadmates. However, since the game requires players to always be connected to a server, the game’s online issues have been preventing this option too.
Starbreeze has been attempting to improve server connectivity and matchmaking, but the studio has now released a statement saying it’s looking into removing or reducing the always-online requirement in the future.
“Payday 3 matchmaking infrastructure has not performed as tested and expected,” the statement reads.
“Matchmaking software encountered an unforeseen error, which made it unable to handle the massive influx of players. The issue caused an unrecoverable situation for Starbreeze’s third-party matchmaking partner.
“A new version of the matchmaking server software was gradually deployed across all regions leading to improved performance. However, a software update made by the partner during late Sunday again introduced instability to the matchmaking infrastructure. The partner continues to work to improve and stabilize Payday 3’s online systems.
“The issue in question did not manifest during Technical Betas or Early Access due to the specificity of rapid user influx and load-balancing. Starbreeze is currently evaluating all options, both short- and long-term.
“In the short-term, this means Starbreeze’ focus is to ensure the player experience. In the long-term, this means evaluating a new partner for matchmaking services and making Payday 3 less dependent on online services.”
It was confirmed back in July that Payday 3 would require an online connection to play the game, even in single-player.
When asked during a livestream if the game could be played offline, global brand director Almir Listo responded: “No. You will be able to play by yourself, but I do believe you will have to have a connection in order to play, because it’s made in Unreal Engine and has cross-progression and cross-play, I do believe we need you to be online.”
The news was received poorly on social media platforms, with the game’s subreddit filling with memes about it being destined to be permanently shut down in the future.
In a new statement, Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren added that the studio now has to win back some of the players put off by the launch issues.
“We are disappointed in the issues our playerbase has faced during our launch weekend, but we are confident in our core product and the quality of Payday 3 – and all available metrics point to it,” he said.
“We have a lot of diligent and consistent work ahead of us to regain community trust, but we will work hard to do it.”