The third installment in the hit cooperative heisting series, Payday, released to the masses last week. However, the always-online nature of the title backfired when its login and matchmaking servers buckled under the massive number of players attempting to play. Following a weekend of disconnects and down-time, developer Starbreeze has given an update on what happened and what solutions are being worked on.
According to the developer, despite hosting multiple betas and stress tests, the matchmaking system of Payday 3 had "encountered an unforeseen error" due to the sheer number of players attempting to connect as well as internal load-balancing issues.
"Matchmaking software encountered an unforeseen error, which made it unable to handle the massive influx of players," says the developer. "The issue caused an unrecoverable situation for Starbreeze’ third-party matchmaking partner."
Despite pushing out a new version of the software to resolve the issues, Starbreeze says that an update to it by matchmaking development partner knocked out the service on Sunday again.
Looking towards the future, the studio is working on resolving the current server issues in the short term. However, in the long-term, it may be relying on a new matchmaking services provider. More importantly, Payday 3's always-online status may be being reconsidered too, with Starbreeze saying it is evaluating on making the title "less dependent on online services."
Unlike previous games in the series, Payday 3 cannot be played offline even when solo, with players requiring a Starbreeze account and an internet connection to even get into the game.
The recovery has halted and we have another drop in the service. The team is working on restoring functionality as soon as possible.— PAYDAY 3 (@PAYDAYGame) September 24, 2023
Even with these major launch issues, Starbreeze revealed that Payday 3's unique player count has reached 1,347,510, while peak concurrent players had hit 218,250. The studio did not give any information on which platforms contributed in what way to these numbers. The title launched as a day-one release onto Xbox and PC Game Pass services as well.
“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," adds Starbreeze Entertainment CEO Tobias Sjögren. We have a lot of diligent and consistent work ahead of us to regain community trust, but we will work hard to do it."
Payday 3 is now available on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5 platforms, as well as via Xbox Game Pass services of Microsoft.