Payday 2 director leaves Overkill and AAA to start an indie studio and subvert genres

Payday 2 director leaves

Payday 2 game director David Goldfarb has left Overkill Software and AAA development behind. He’s making his own indie studio in Stockholm, where he hopes to subvert genres and have complete creative freedom. 

“I knew that at some point the thing that I always wanted was to make my own thing,” Goldfarb told Polygon. “It doesn’t matter who I work with: the desire was never to make other people’s games, no matter how good they are.”

Goldfarb’s experience includes Mirror’s Edge, Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3 and Payday 2, a mixture of critical and commercial successes. But he’d become restless. “I was game director but I guess at some point you go like ‘What does that actually mean?’ If I start fighting with people or I’m restless, you start to see the same things happening. After a while I was just like ‘Maybe it’s just time to admit the thing I’ve been fighting all of my career,’ which is the fact that the only thing that will make me happy is just doing this myself and not deferring that desire because it’s scary.”

He’s done with AAA and he wants to avoid current trends. “No MOBAs, no comic book styled art, no pixel art. Like, those are things I will not do. And there’s nothing wrong with those things, those things are all awesome, I just don’t want to do any of them.”

Goldfarb said he’s considering an RPG, but it’s still early days for his fledgling studio made up from four developers. They’ve got conceptual stuff, but nothing far enough along to reveal.

With his background in writing and poetry, he didn’t feel free to express himself in his previous roles. “I worked my away into the industry against all odds and once I had gotten there I realised I wasn’t really happy doing it and the stuff I was really good at was really hard to quantify. Especially in these big industries where their vested interest is really not maximizing who you are as a person or as an artist even. Companies make you less than you are the bigger they are. That’s just a rule. They’re not evil, that’s just how they are, it’s like a physics lesson.”

He’s left Overkill on good terms, though. “It’s all on good terms and I think [Overkill] is well positioned to succeed. They’re doing great. They’ll continue to succeed as the last Steam sales indicate. Super smart people over there”

Cheers, Polygon.