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PayDay 3 dev Starbreeze kicks out CEO amidst struggles

Heist game is still reeling from launch troubles
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There have been some catastrophic launches in 2023, but PayDay 3 surely ranks among the top entries in this particular category – unfortunately, for fans of the heist shooter series and Starbreeze, the developer behind it. Massive server issues plagued the title’s release and users quickly got tired of the limited amount of content in the game compared to its lauded predecessor. Both issues were exacerbated by promised updates taking much longer than expected, which led to players simply moving on to something else and never returning – PayDay 3 is still struggling.

With Embracer Group, to which Starbreeze belongs, currently cutting costs left, right, and center and not hesitating to shut down studios it deems as not performing well enough, it’s a nightmare scenario for Starbreeze. It seems like the board of directors at the company came to the same conclusion and decided to make changes – starting at the top. Tobias Sjögren has been ousted as CEO and was replaced with board member Juergen Goeldner as interim CEO.

PayDay 3 screenshot showing robbers running over a parking lot.

PayDay 3 continues to struggle and Starbreeze is making leadership changes.

Goeldner joined the board in 2023 and was previously the CEO at Focus Home Interactive. He’s got a total of 40 years in the industry under his belt.

“The company has a clear strategy centered around creating attractive games on our own and licensed IPs. 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,” explained Torgny Hellström, who is serving as chairman.

“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. I am looking forward to assuming an operative position and, together with the management, ensuring the execution of this strategy,” Goeldner stated.

Embracer Group counted on PayDay 3 to bring in strong revenues after the IP’s past success, so the pressure on the new leadership will be high. The shutdown of Volition in the wake of the Saints Row reboot being a commercial flop is an example hanging over the heads of everyone under the umbrella of the Swedish corporation.

At the moment, PayDay 3 can’t even get player numbers above 500 at peak times on Steam, so there is a lot of work to be done.