Overkill Software will make their next-gen debut in June when they bring PAYDAY 2: Crimewave Edition to the PS4 and Xbox One. After finding great success on the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 with PAYDAY 2, the company is prepared to bring the game to a new generation of home consoles. zoomdune.com was recently given the opportunity to interview Almir Listo, producer of PAYDAY 2, and discuss with him the future of the franchise, the new content found in PAYDAY: Crimewave Edition, the important of the game’s community, and how the PS4 and Xbox One version will differ from the last-gen release.
This new generation is still in its early days, but we have seen a number of remasters get released for PS4 and Xbox One. While some companies spend a lot of time to enhance a game’s visuals, performance, and assets – like Rockstar did with GTA 5, there are those that simply update the resolution and charge a premium price for a game that has identical content to its previous gen brethren. Overkill Software is looking to take advantage of the tools given by the PS4 and Xbox One to expand upon PAYDAY 2 with new content and make the experience different than what was found on the PS3 or Xbox 360.
“With any new console game, you have to go through a submission process is a couple months ahead of its actual release. We’re making a cutoff date of January for the PC version’s updates. Day One, they are going to have more than a year, year and a half’s worth of post-launch content straight into the box. As soon as we can, we are going to keep cramming updates into both [PS4 and Xbox One]. That’s the beauty of the new generation, these platforms are much more easy to work with in comparison to the old,” Listo explained.
He continued, “We’re in the final pushes of the QA process, but it’s looking so good. PAYDAY 2 was made with the hardcore FPS gamers in mind, right? You’re always so eager to make that transition from the last generation to this one, and you want [the game] to feel special. Playing PAYDAY 2 on PS3 feels completely different from playing it on PS4.”
The decision to take the PAYDAY franchise to the PS4 and Xbox One wasn’t immediate. In fact, the company had to think about it for a bit of time. One of the motivators to bring PAYDAY 2 to PS4 and Xbox One was due to the limitations of the PS3 and Xbox 360. Once the company realized that they had pushed those consoles as far as they possible could, the decision was made to jump to the new-generation of hardware. Thus, PAYDAY 2: Crimwave Edition was born.
“We started [thinking] about the newer versions as soon as we heard about the next-gen consoles. At some point in 2014, we started working on it for real. We had some technical challenges with updating the game for the past generation. We tried every way possible to make sure we crammed as much [content] as possible into the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. We realized we couldn’t push these consoles any further. We couldn’t cram anymore of the 50 post-launch updates into those versions of the games,” shared Listo.
“We decided alright, let’s move onto the next-generation, so we made that transition. Hopefully as many players as possible will join us,” Listo tells us.
He concluded with, “Personally, it’s how smooth [the transition] has been. These machines are much more flexible, everything seems to work in a completely different way than the previous generation. They’ve managed to cram some really cool technology into both of these platforms. Of course, we’ve been working on PAYDAY 2 for such a long time and the game has never looked as good as it does now. Making sure it worked for this new-generation of consoles was much easier than the last one.”
However, Overkill is making sure that PAYDAY: Crimewave Edition isn’t just a run-of-the-mill remaster. This edition will come with new content and will continue to support the game with 24 months of additional content.
“PAYDAY 2 is more of a living thing than other games are. There have been a lot of remasters of single-player games, but the special thing with PAYDAY 2 is that we’re continuing to update the game, even through today. We just signed a new two-year deal with 505 Games to create 24 months of addition, new content. Hopefully that content will reach the PS4 and Xbox One as soon as possible,” said Listo.
One of the driving forces at Overkill Software is their sense of independence. They are able to commit to their game, put in long hours, interact with the community, and make the game that they want to create. Because PAYDAY is their own IP, they acknowledge that they own the success and also the failure of the game, and that’s important.
“When we finished PAYDAY 2, many people slept in the office for four months just to finish the game. You get that type of involvement because it’s our own IP. We own the success and we own the failure of the game and that’s a very important thing as a developer,” Listo disclosed.
He continued by adding that the community is also a key motivator for the development team. The relationship that have with the fans allows them to interact and get valuable feedback directly from gamers.
“We’ve fostered a very respectful and great relationship with them. They can be feisty, angry or happy at times. The opportunity to talk with us is there [because of our independence]. You can’t have something nice unless you work at it and we’ve done that with PAYDAY 2. We have the privilege of having a huge community that is very vocal and are hardcore gamers with great ideas,” Listo shared with us.
As for the future of PAYDAY, Listo says things are looking really bright and they are ready for new challenges from competing developers.
“When we went into 2015 we said this year was going to be filled with challenges. During our year update, we released our Overkill boxing gloves for free and said, ‘there are going to be some heisting contenders out there this year. We’re happy to let them step into the ring, but we know we have the heavyweight belt of heisting and we know there are a lot of other companies out there trying to take it from us.’ That just means we have to work harder to make the best heisting experience available on the market,” he explained.
Listo concluded our interview by teasing that if you are a fan of PAYDAY now, then wait to see what the next two years bring.
“By signing the agreement with 505, ensuring the life of PAYDAY 2 by an additional two years, it’s great because we can already commit to our players. You enjoy PAYDAY now? Wait until you’ve played it for another two years and make sure you don’t miss out on this rollercoaster because it’s going to be new content coming out every month, every other month,” Listo said.