In June 2013, the lead designer for Payday 2 said that they hoped microtransactions would never make it into the game. “No. No. God, I hope not. Never. No”, he denied vehemently.
The squad-based shooter has managed to maintain a strong, online community since it released in August of 2013. In October of this year, microtransactions were patched into the game. Specifically, special safes were added that could not be opened via any other means but a certain kind of drill. These would cost real-life money to obtain.
After this move provoked outrage from the player base, random drops of these drills were patched into the game for those who would not pay for the drills.
However, last Thursday, ‘Team Boosts’ were patched into the game. These new boosts would generate in-game money and XP for teams who complete heists with a particular, paid-for, skin.
This sparked fresh anger and lead the Steam Community volunteer moderators to quit. One of the moderators, going by Ashley on Steam, published a notice explaining their reasons for the strike:
A number of death threats thrown at us as well as much more heavy moderation needed due to a huge increase in users breaking the rules. We are not paid and have been in a very stressful situation… If Overkill decides to let us go as moderators it’s something we are prepared for, I personally cannot sit by when they continue to promote immoral business practices.
Now, the developers have taken a turn and apologized for the changes they’ve made to the game. In a 2 hour-long discussion with the aforementioned community moderators Payday 2 producer, Almir Listo, says that Overkill will attempt to be more communicative in future and monitoring fan-feedback more closely. He says that they will be reading their public Steam forums and will be meeting with prominent modders to discuss what changes could be made to the game.
Whilst no promises have been made at this time, discussions have been had about moving to a system like StatTrak for future safes- as they have in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
In a long post to Steam, Listo discusses all the moves that Overkill plan to make to mitigate the ”distress” caused. He also offers the following apology:
The past few weeks have been some of the most challenging in the history of this community. Players have been angry with us, media have written about us en masse and our volunteer moderators went on strike. For all the distress we’ve caused the past few weeks, I’d just like to take the time and say that we’re sorry. We’ve done a lot of things right in the past, but these past few weeks we screwed up.
So, whilst no solid plans have been made to change the state of the game, it seems that changes will be coming to Payday 2. Head to their Steam forums if you want to add your voice to proceedings.