Payday 3 always-online format has sparked discontent among long-standing fans of the co-op FPS. This move could potentially spell an early expiry date for the game, even before it hits the shelves.
Its predecessor, Payday 2, launched in 2013, is a favourite among a dedicated fanbase that has revelled in its gameplay for over a decade - helped in large part by the game's modding potential, with players able to add new features, skins, and even modes of play.
While Payday 3 might still offer modding possibilities, community-created gameplay additions may no longer be feasible. This is due to the decision to run Payday 3 on dedicated servers, a departure from the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) system that powered Payday 2.
This news has provoked widespread dismay among fans. Some have even gone to the extent of cancelling their pre-orders, feeling that the new gameplay features do not compensate for the significant direction shift taken by Overkill Software and Starbreeze Studios with the Payday franchise.
Over at the official Payday subreddit, fans are urging the community to voice their discontent by "voting with their wallets". The aim is to convey their disillusionment with the decision to make Payday 3 an always-online game to the developers.
"If you actually want to try and make a change about the only online feature, then cancel your wish-list/per-order. it's probably the only way OVK/Star-breeze will listen to the community, vote with your wallet.," states a thread by StealthC0bra, which has garnered almost 1,000 upvotes.
Among the comments in this thread, a recurring concern isn't merely the potential lack of mods but rather the game's longevity. Some fans fear Payday 3 might "die out" sooner than Payday 2, a game that has thrived for ten years.
"For anyone wondering the general issue with always online games is when the servers inevitably shut down the game is no longer playable," user MaxSexHaver commented.
There's also the requirement for a consistent internet connection. Even the briefest interruption could result in a player being dropped from a heist at a pivotal moment.
It remains to be seen whether the developers will reconsider their stance, but a reversal seems highly unlikely given Payday 3's imminent release on 21 September.
For more content, check out if Payday 3 will launch on PlayStation 4.