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Payday 3 dev replaces CEO after FPS sequel’s disastrous launch

Payday 3 developer Starbreeze has appointed an interim CEO as it looks for "different leadership" after the FPS game's disastrous launch.

Payday 3 new CEO: a person in a trenchcoat holding an assault rifle with a blue and red mask on

Payday 3 developer Starbreeze has appointed a new interim CEO, claiming that it needs “different leadership” in order to achieve its strategy around creating “attractive games.” The leadership shakeup comes after Payday 3 massively underperformed since it launched in 2023, with players continually flocking back to the previous game in the series, Payday 2.

Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren has been replaced by the Payday 3 studio’s board of directors, with current board member Juergen Goeldner taking up the role of interim CEO while the FPS game developer looks for a more permanent solution.

“The company has a clear strategy centered around creating attractive games on our own and licensed IPs,” Starbreeze chairman Torgny Hellström says in a statement to investors. “The board’s consolidated assessment is that the execution of strategy needs a different leadership. Juergen Goeldner has been part of the board since 2023 and, with over 40 years of industry experience, is a strong interim solution.”

Between matchmaking problems at launch and widespread complaints of Payday 3 having less content and longevity than its predecessor, the co-op shooter has been struggling for months. While Payday 2 still manages to pull in anywhere between 20,000 to 40,000 active players at any given time on Steam, Payday 3 has slumped lower than 200.

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“On behalf of the board of directors, I would like to thank Tobias Sjögren for his achievements during the past three years. Tobias took over the helm of Starbreeze in a challenging phase of its journey and we wish him well in his future endeavors,” Hellström adds.

“Starbreeze has a strong history of developing and publishing games globally. After launching Payday 3, the company is well-positioned to leverage the strengths of the organization to monetize and develop the IP portfolio,” interim CEO Goeldner says. “I am looking forward to assuming an operative position and, together with the management, ensure the execution of this strategy.”

Starbreeze has already been doing everything it can to save the sequel, even going as far as to put together a Payday 3 strike team to put the game back on track.

With Payday in limbo, Starbreeze is also working on an officially licensed Dungeons and Dragons game, as the live service co-op take on DnD wants to give players “a larger than life experience.”

If you want to play something in the same vein as Payday but can’t quite pick anything, we’ve got the best multiplayer games and crime games you’ll want to take a look at instead.

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