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Starbreeze "thirsting for revenge" as hunt for Payday 3 publisher continues

Money talks.

Starbreeze has said it is "thirsting for revenge" as its hunt for a Payday 3 publisher continues.

The Swedish company reported its 2020 financial results, which show a loss before tax of SEK 130.5m (£11.3m), compared to a loss of SEK 452.4m (£39.3m) in 2019.

The losses continue, but 2020 was an improved year for Starbreeze. It paid off a large proportion of its debts, and there is improvement from co-op shooter Payday 2. Starbreeze said by late December, Payday 2 had become the biggest game community on Steam, with 7.1 million members.

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The fourth chapter of Payday 2 Silk Road, which included a free core update and three DLCs, came out in November 2020. Net sales of Payday 2 increased on Steam by 37 per cent compared to 2019. Net sales of DLC increased 69 per cent. Console revenues grew by 61 per cent. The developers are working on a new season for Payday 2, the first part of which launches this quarter.

Acting CEO Tobias Sjögren said Starbreeze is now in a position to continue development of Payday 3.

"Starbreeze is a much stronger company today than it was one year ago. We are hugely confident, thirsting for revenge and thrilled to be able to focus to the max on developing our IP with Payday front and center."

Starbreeze exited reconstruction in December 2019 after a tumultuous time sparked by the disastrous launch of Overkill's The Walking Dead on Steam. The game flopped, causing severe financial issues and the acrimonious exit of boss Bo Andersson. For more, check out our in-depth feature, The fall of Starbreeze.

But after a reorganisation, layoffs, the selling off of various publishing rights and a focus on Payday 2, it seems Starbreeze is starting to sort itself out.

However, while Starbreeze is in a stronger position now than it has been, its directors issued a stark warning that suggests that it'll have to sign a publisher for Payday 3 to continue to operate till the end of 2021.

"Without additional financing, liquidity injections from divestitures or distribution agreements for Payday 3, the company could experience a liquidity shortfall in the fourth quarter of 2021," reads the financial report.

"This entails risk that the company will not have sufficient secured funds to guarantee continued operations for the next 12 months."

However, the company said it's "confident" of doing a deal.

"In the opinion of the board of directors, Starbreeze will be able to close a publishing agreement for the company's projects," it said.

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