Starbreeze subsidiary Overkill Software is in a bit of hot water this week after adding microtransactions to its popular (and not free-to-play) game Payday 2 despite earlier public assurances by staffers that they would never do so.
Overkill is approaching Payday 2 as a long-term sustainable platform in the vein of Counter-Strike: GO or Dota 2 by implementing a system of selling optional in-game keys (for $2.50) which unlock in-game crates containing things like cosmetic skins, but it's being hampered by public perception of the game established before it was even released.
At least one of the developers who in 2013 spoke publicly against adding microtransactions to Payday 2, former game director David Goldfarb, left Overkill the following year to go indie.
But in the run-up to the game's 2013 release, Goldfarb offered an emphatically negative response to a question from GameSpot about possibly adding in Payday 2 microtransactions down the road.
"No. No. God, I hope not," Goldfarb told GameSpot in 2013. "Never. No."
The game went on to become a bit of a breakout hit for Overkill, inspiring publisher 505 Games to invest millions in Overkill owner Starbreeze earlier this year and pour millions more into continuing development of Payday 2 ports and DLC, even as it extended its exclusive publishing rights for the game through 2032.
At the time, Starbreeze chairman Michael Hjorth stated that "Payday as a franchise is here to stay and with it we are building a solid financial foundation for the company for years to come."