You Can Pay For Better Guns In PAYDAY 2, And Fans Hate It

Over two years ago, PAYDAY 2 producer Almir Listo told the community that they would never introduce micro-transactions, and suggested those who thought otherwise should feel ashamed.

Today marks the beginning of the Crimefest, a 10-day long annual celebration of all things PAYDAY. To mark the celebration, Overkill Software has introduced The Black Market, an in-game economy where users, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive style, can open cases with drills. The drills cost money. And the skins aren't cosmetic: they can affect the performance of the weapons.

Fans aren't happy.

"Fuck you overkill." "Oh yeah, we PAYDAY: Skin Offensive now." "We've overloaded — we can do the opposite. Let your voice be heard." "I made a new banner" — the banner reads PAYDAY 2: Global Offensive. "I actually hope the hackers find a way to hack the safe-opening drills into the inventories." "Mann-conomy update, with all the worst of CS:GO." "Let's change the titel [sic] ... to Pay2Day."

These are the latest threads on the official subreddit. The sentiment doesn't change much when you scroll down, and those posting on Steam are equally irate. Listo's original thread from two years ago is by far and away the most active on the old forums. Almir's announcement for the first day of the Crimefest celebrations has over 3000 comments, and the fury there is just as palpable.

"Well, it looks like I left just in time to see my most played game become CS:GO," user Jones wrote. "Sure it would be nice to have weapon skins, but A, I thought it was gonna be FREE content this Crimefest, B, Giving the Weapons skins actual stats is a dumb idea, and C, you lied to us, you said that PAYDAY 2 will never have Microtransactions," another quipped.

David Goldfarb is one of the co-founders of indie studio The Outsiders, but before that he was the lead designer on PAYDAY 2. "No. No. God, I hope not. Never. No." That was his response to Gamespot when they asked if microtransactions would ever be added to PAYDAY 2.


But let's rewind a bit. Why exactly is everyone so goddamn angry?

It's the introduction of The Black Market update, a patch that introduces an in-game economy that introduces weapon skins, safes and drills to open the safes. Two special safes are listed on the site: the Sputnik Safe, featuring two rare skins, two epic skins and one uncommon, and the Crimefest 2 safe, which has one common skin, two uncommon, one epic and one rare skin.

Players are comparing the system to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive because each case can only be opened with the corresponding drill, and those drills cost. Crimefest 2 drills are going from US$3.19 at the time of writing, while you'll need at least US$2.89 to buy a drill for the Sputnik cases.

It probably doesn't help that Overkill themselves made a direct comparison. On their Steam forums, Tessio McTess, a volunteer moderator for PAYDAY 2's Steam forums, described the update very simply. "It's basically an economy system in PAYDAY 2 akin to the ones featured in Valve games such as Team Fortress 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Defense of the Ancients 2."

But what really has everyone's goat is this one simple line on the website. "Aside from looking awesome, a skin offers more than cosmetics," Overkill's landing page for the Black Market update said. "Skins can improve the stats of the weapon, perhaps making it more stable or affecting concealment. Some skins come with associated mods, capable of further improving the stats. Finally, a rare Stat Boost modifier might come with the skin, giving you that extra edge."

If one image could explain the height of the community's fury, it's this one.

The numbers above don't look like a great deal, but Overkill promises the opposite with "a limited supply of truly awe-inspiring weapon skins". Any skin with a Legendary status, according to the developers, will help players "soar above the norm, bringing a stat boost for the weapon and notoriety to you".

Instead of rebelling from the idea of paying money to have better weapons, Overkill is doubling down on it. And while PAYDAY 2 might be free-to-play for the next 10 days and is 75% off for the next week, the standard asking price is US$20. You can get a four pack for US$15, but the philosophy is still there: PAYDAY 2 wasn't built as a free-to-play, pay-to-win shooter. It was a straight shooter that didn't charge customers for guns, and they've now implemented a system that encourages precisely the opposite.

This isn't the first time Overkill has dipped in the monetisation well, either. Early last year the company kicked off an event called Hype Train, which ran for over a month. A range of rewards unlocked as more community members joined the group, with the cap set at 1.5 million for the final reward.

The in-game rewards were unlocked through gameplay, but Overkill offered two DLC packs — a standard Overkill pack and the Completely Overkill pack — for US$5 and US$20 respectively. Both packs granted buyers a large amount of Hype Fuel — the commodity that helped unlock more rewards over the course of the community event — as well as some new weapons, skins and mods.

It's no wonder that PAYDAY 2 fans with hundreds, even thousands, of hours played have begun posting scathing reviews on Steam. And Overkill's volunteer moderators are aware of the backlash, calling on those irate to "remain civilised and constructive". "That does *not* give you the right to misbehave and ascertain to toxic behaviour when displaying your opinion. This is a privately owned forum and non-constructive threads and general toxic posts will be DELETED ON SIGHT WITHOUT PRIOR OR ANY CONSENT," McTess wrote in a pinned post.

But simply acknowledging the issue does not dissipate an outraged community. "The huge controversy that seems to be the main focus is the microtransaction aspect and the stat boosts that some skins will apply when earned," McTess said earlier today.

Fans are outraged because they don't understand why Overkill wanted to go down this path. They're waiting for an explanation — and given the sheer contempt with which a once-beloved game was upheld, that explanation can't be far away.


    Here is a good example of what they are currently doing on the steam forum to try and stop the backlash.

    Also Id like to add that I feel dirty for supporting them during the hype train even't, I bought the completely overkill pack because I thought I would be supporting the game get some free content for everyone to enjoy, I never would have imagined I was funding micro transactions in a full priced game with full priced DLC.

    Last edited 16/10/15 3:16 pm

      If you display outrage, prepare for banning... Great top notch PR happening there.

      Did the original thread contain racism, as per the reason for removal?
      Also, take into consideration that Alex has mentioned the forum moderators are not developer staff, and are presumably not running every single decision past the developers.

      You do realise that the all of the in-game content released as a result of the Hype Train event was free and available to any player? It kind of seems like that stated intention of the Overkill DLC packs was to make available to any and all players free DLC. Therefore, you literally funded free DLC for the rest of the playerbase.
      Now the devs are on to a completely different event with a completely different set of criteria, and once again we're set to see some paid DLC (the microtransactions) and some free DLC.

        I'm mostly just feeling betrayed for supporting them at all at this point.

      Seen a few other folks complaining that their civil but critical threads have been banned for 'racism', too.

      That's REALLY fucking poor taste. Not only is it an insult and a lie, but it demonstrates a pretty heavy disrespect for taking actual racism seriously.

      Your not the only one:

      I had a closer look into this on the weekend. One of the popular links passed around for a post banned for 'racism' was actually racist. Apparently it called Almir a 'confirmed Jew', implying that was a negative thing or that being Jewish is linked to money-grubbing.

      Probably the more sickening thing is that I actually saw quite a few posts pop up in a similar vein over the weekend (presumably before they got banned), and the people hurling those 'insults' appeared to be genuinely confused as to how that's racism.

      There's still plenty of examples of unnecessary banning and censorship, but it seems more than a handful of folks are earning it.

    Wasn't buying the DLC packs enough? I don't play Payday 2 anymore but I thought they were earning enough at this point. Now it just seems like they're doing it for greedy reasons. I mean sure, go ahead and do that. You're a business but I think, personally, this could've been handled better.

    Made small update to reflect the fact that the moderators on the Steam forums are volunteers, not Overkill employees (this is in bold at the bottom of the article also).

    And yet Pirateperfection will get you all of them for free. ggez

    Quick lesson for Bungie/Activision here.

      This is what makes me worry. A promise from a dev these days means nothing at all

    People are getting pissy about a co-op shooter that has been slowing releasing free and paid for content over the last two years? That part is very important to elaborate on. This is a game that has had more free DLC missions released than paid (10:6); free updates have added new difficulties, extended the leveling system, added new characters and enemies. Paid DLC has been a constant drip-feed of new weapons and mods, both of which have altered states from vanilla yet did not produce an uproar from the community, and a collection of missions and characters.

    What I'm really not understanding is why players, even those who are in the hundreds of hours of play time, are getting upset about stat boosts in a game that has no competitive element. Should players be getting upset that someone on their team might have a skin that confers a +4 to stability? It's an entirely optional element to the base game that has the potential to make a make a teensy bit easier.

    If the introduction of an economy system were to supplant the pre-existing system, and that's a gargantuan "if" where there has been no such indication from the devs, then there may be cause for concern.

    The whole situation reads as a population of players incapable of thinking beyond a knee-jerk response. Payday 2 has been a game that constantly updates and introduces new content, if the content is worth buying I'll consider it, if not, I'll exercise restraint and avoid it; no one is forcing me, or any other player, to buy any additional material for this game.

      People are getting pissy about a co-op shooter that has been slowing releasing free and paid for content over the last two years?

      I'm getting a bit riled up by it, to be honest. I bought the 360 version which was then left eons behind in updates before getting quietly put in the "too hard but thanks for your money" basket. A month ago I sprung for the PS4 version after my former heisting partner pointed out all the content in there... now I fear what I've gotten myself into again. I'm enjoying heisting again - particularly with all the content I never had on 360 - but Overkill has gone a bit overboard with this. This was never their style of business with PD2, and it's a HUGE leap from what they've provided to their playerbase in the past.

      PS4 is already behind PC, with promises of updates - I had those promises for the 360 version, too. Now I can look forward to microtransactions if they provide an update? :/

        The Devs have already addressed the situation with the lack of updates on the console versions.

          Oh wow, someone really needs to teach those guys A) PR, and B) some manners and empathy.

        That sucks. Sorry you're in that position.
        I'd argue that their change in business is not a huge leap and I'd be arguing form a PC perspective, which isn't particularly helpful to you.

        Will the introduction of microtransactions stop you from enjoying the content that already exists? Although it's not much consolation, I'd prefer to focus on the fact that without a massive retrospective change, this new system should have no bearing on how I play the pre-existing content.

      Okay, here's the point, go and count the exact number of Paid and Free Downloadable Contents. See which is the most.

        At best, 66% of the released DLC is paid.
        75% of paid DLC contains a weapon.
        20% of paid DLC contains a mission. 35% of free DLC contains a mission.
        0% of paid DLC contains features that were not part of a free update.

        You still don't have a point worth making. None of the released DLC is pay to win; the idea that a marginal stat boost will make a player good at a game is beyond absurd. Technically the only pay to win aspect of the game is that one would have to purchase it to complete a mission. If you want to get your heckles up about paid DLC and microtransactions, move your attention to games that trade solely and egregiously on those practices.

        Contrary to what you've said below, the developers are not reaching into your pocket and taking your money. Get some dignity and exercise some discretion with your purchases.

          You seem to be forgetting the knock-on effect of having to 'keep up with the Joneses'. It's not actually all in their heads - I've personally experienced the PayDay2 community's toxic attitude towards booting players who haven't unlocked enough shinies without evaluating performance in-game. Pay2Win in a co-op game exacerbates that problem.

            Fair anecdotal point. I don't use any DLC items and have never had that problem. Not to say the problem exists, just that isolated anecdotes do not a consensus/trend/indication make.

            Successive DLC packs have introduced weapons with the highest DPS. Arguably the game has always been pay to win, if we're going to use the same measure as the upset players. Why is it only just a problem worth rallying against?

            My points are firmly that 1) this developer is in relatively good standing, and 2) consumers have a choice, especially in this instance, and to argue otherwise is ignorance.

              I think 'standing' probably deserves to take a hit when they publicly take one position, then go act in the opposite (like seriously, diametrically opposed) without any prior communication whatsoever, with subsequent communication being... well. Censorship.

      Dont understand why the players are upset?dude all the content that I have purchased. All the DLC is now the inferior version. The weapon skin mentioned was just an example the legendary skins are supposed to let you" soar above the rest!" That implies a hell of a boost.

      This game has betrayed me as a customer. I have supported them since the beginning. Am I an entitled gamer? Only if the volkswagon owners are entitled drivers! They had previously stated there would be no microtransactions in the game!

      Since Hype Train, I'd say we had around 9 updates of actual proper content. Guess what the proportions since then have been - 8:1. The only proper content we've has was back in May in the form of Meltdown, a map that extends on the previously existing Shadow Raid map. The other 8 have been all paid content. So what was the point of Hype Train? They claim they want to give us more content. All they've shown us is that they're happy to charge us so they can develop things that can sell as even more paid content.

      I don't care what the overall proportions are. Next year it might be 20:1 going by the current trend.

    People are starting to get annoyed at Micro-Transactions in general, more and more things are being made in games "that will never have Micro-Transactions" according to the developers, publishers, marketing managers, social media managers, etc.

    It no longer matters if its something that is cosmetic, a boost, a catch up mechanic, whatever. People are sick of being charged for things that were once a reward. People are sick of having to pay for a bunch of map packs, weapon loadouts, skins and characters which are on the disc but behind a Micro-Transaction paywall.

    What makes it worse are people who defend these practices as "you're entitled" or "games are expensive to make, so this is how they are balancing the budget". You do realize that these studios have the money to develop the games right? Or they wouldn't be developing it. Companies do not work on "we'll make it now and hope we can pay people later", that's bad business.

    The fact that Kotaku has posted quite a few stories of the same nature recently should show you that people are sick of being screwed over by these type of practices.

    All I have to say about this is this is a joke. This is a horrible idea and a slap in the face to anyone who supported the game.

    This isn't as bad as it seems. Overkill had got a long history of releasing both paid and free DLC and it's all been received fairly well. As for the 'edge' that skins give, well, who actually, honestly cares?

    Before you get upset, remember, payday 2 is a co-op game. It doesn't have competitive multiplayer. It is also unique in that to be the most successful you can be, you really, really have to be good at almost every mechanic in the game bar shooting. Shooting only really matters if you f*** up or you're doing a loud heist and even then you preferrably want to do as little shooting as possible

    Some might say the gun stat boosts make it easier but they don't. A bonus to stability really doesn't matter as the only way to reliably hit something in PD2 is to have single fire and careful aim. Concealment is just as useless as it only affects how rapidly guards and civies become alerted once they see you. That's not going to help someone if they're s*** at stealth in PD2

      "This isn't as bad as it seems. Overkill had got a long history of releasing both paid and free DLC and it's all been received fairly well. As for the 'edge' that skins give, well, who actually, honestly cares?"
      You missed the point, the fact the the cosmetics have buffs is annoying, the fact they nerfed 'balanced' a bunch of guns on the same day they sell the upgrade is what is making people mad. If weapon X does so much damage / shot or had Y level of accuracy/stability/conceal and now does less; then they sell you an upgrade it get it back to what it was before is it any wonder people are angry?
      I freaking love this game, but this dlc and pay for unlock thing is pretty shit, especially compared to a FREE game like Dota/tf2...

      "This isn't as bad as it seems. Overkill had got a long history of releasing both paid and free DLC and it's all been received fairly well. As for the 'edge' that skins give, well, who actually, honestly cares?"
      It's one thing to add micro transactions, it's another thing to tell us we unlocked free content then tell us that free content is microtransactions.

    The PAYDAY 2 community can ban me for whatever I say, therefor, I'm saying this. Ban me however you like, but keep in mind, I'm just saying that PAYDAY 2 must change, stop with the Downloadable Contents and micro transactions. Almost 75% I can say are Pay To Win DLC. And this update, when you bought a key, opened each safes and get a gun that you don't have the DLC for it. OVK Software or PAYDAY 2 are just reaching into your pockets and squeezing every single cash from your wallet. I'm not saying PAYDAY 2 is the problem, the problem goes to OVK Software on how they treat their customers.

    I can see being upset about them saying one thing and doing something else... But personally, given that there's no PvP I don't give a shit about skins giving some stat boosts.

    Not likely I'll buy any anyway. That being said I will add that any content I have bought for the game I've felt like I got my money's worth. Especially since I've bought most of it during sales.

    Overkill will also always get a huge amount of gratitude from me simply because when they sell a 'map pack' it doesn't split the friggin' playerbase like a lot of other devs do with their games.

    Last edited 16/10/15 8:22 pm

    Wow, the Overkill apologists saying 'its just a co-op game, who cares if they give stat boosts?' make me visibly sick. Thanks for ruining gaming for the rest of us.

      Hi, I'm one of the alleged apologists on this page. Sorry you're literally vomiting out of your eyeballs.

      Can you articulate why this would ruin the game?
      Why is the game only now ruined when weapons with the highest rate of damage are from prior DLC packs?
      From the previous question, why is everyone only just now getting angry about this being a pay to win game when past DLC could have made that apparent?

      If you could add something to the conversation that explains your position, beyond the usual hyperbole, that would be great.

    I'll answer to the apologists even though I don't even play the game.

    It's ruined like most games can be ruined by microtransactions and pay2win components can ruin the game; retroactive re-evaluation of value.
    Never before this age of microtransactions did we as gamers have to change our opinion about the monetary value of a game or its components during or after we had experienced the game (outside of stuff like trading-card game). Games used to be $X now they are $X and $Y and $Z and it might never be always clear if $XYZ is an approximation of how much a game is actually worth.

    This is really made much worse when that now flexible value is tied to gameplay. I mean I'd argue that even cosmetics/skins impinge on value, but it's been made very clear in the last few years that if microtransactions affect gameplay then playing the game itself is now a financial dilemma. Now the only thing worth selling that affects gameplay is something like Pay to Win, because the buyer needs results. It's obvious how this causes an imbalance in competitive multiplay but it also is a problem for single/cooperative. Money, and whether a player can afford to pay is now a major motivating factor in success: the nature of the games challenge, the flexibility exteneral factors (cheatcodes etc.) are changed in favour of satisfying paying customers and frusutrating non-paying customers. Never ever make the naive assumption that systems built into the game designed to sell to players after initial purchase don't affect the experience, because they always do.

    Now I can already hear the poor old trollop of, "But you're not forced to buy! Just don't buy it if you don't like it!" This argument only works in a vacuum where a market simply existed and never ever changed over time. Unfortunately we can't just wipe our memories and start fresh every time we want to create a new marketplace paradigm. The effort customers must go to in order to experience their purchases has become needlessly more complex. I'm perfectly ok with deciding to buy or not buy something. I'm not ok with that being a continuous part of experiencing something I may have already bought. Laugh all you want but gaming is changing around me and I'm scared and confused and I don't know who to trust anymore. Heck just look at the poor PR happeningright here with Payday: there's no assurance that the value being presented to players is anything other than a greedy cashgrab - we didn't even HAVE TO endure such a dialogue with developers before.

    Apparently we should all be worried about and discussing climate change and stuff so we can get on stopping it before it it really wrecks us. Well here's something simpler that people are already worried about and there's literally no benefit to shutting-up and just letting something they don't want to happen, to happen.

    I do love the game, but to be honest, i really hate overkill now. Even more when I read what happened to the person that was responsible for pd2stats. You can read his message at . What overkill did is very low, I'll probably never buy from them again.

    PS Sorry for the mistake i made in this, my first language in not English

    I was thinking of buying for PS4,is it still good or has this ruined the game?

    I just think this turns the game into a goofy CoD shitfest game more so than it already was.

    Recently played the game again and all the new heists I've seen after being away for 1 1/2 years are either too annoying to play or just plain garbage. Me and my friends who no longer play finished all the levels on Death Wish and thoroughly enjoyed the game but its now a shell of its former self with Overkill cashing out on DLCs and microtransactions.

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