Good progression on Starbreeze’s exciting journey
Starbreeze has a solid foundation. We have one of the strongest brands in the games industry, we are focused on our core business of developing games for PC and console, and we have a clear and ambitious strategy to become an even bigger developer and publisher of successful games in the long term.
PAYDAY 2 has taken us on a fantastic journey. Our success is largely due to our community, our ability to deliver a great experience, and the way we have involved our community and provided high-quality content. We are quite simply among the very best in our industry at developing strong IPs with iconic characters that generate revenue for years to come through a large and engaged community. We take this experience with us in our work on PAYDAY 3.
Games as a Service
When PAYDAY 3 comes out in 2023, it will be released on console and PC simultaneously. Using the Unreal Engine allows us to continuously develop the game equally on all platforms, following the successful business model of releasing additional content, DLC, which in PAYDAY 2 is only available to us on PC. This means that our market – both in terms of the number of players and the monetization potential – at and after the release of PAYDAY 3 will be significantly larger than it was at the release of PAYDAY 2.
In 2021, we established several important partnerships to strengthen PAYDAY as IP and increase its revenue potential. With the release of PAYDAY 3, our partnership with Koch Media means we have the potential to reach players in every corner of the globe, thanks to their extensive experience in local distribution and marketing.
Through our partnership with PopReach, we have secured the ability to establish PAYDAY on mobile platforms with a “free-to-play” business model. We are confident that the size of our customer base and our customer’s appetite for PAYDAY experiences will enable us to release several different gaming experiences in the future.
Our community on Steam has close to eight million members – the highest number of any game on that platform. This is both a source of strength and an asset leading up to the release of PAYDAY 3. One step in our efforts to strengthen our close relationship with our community is the launch of our new player portal, “Starbreeze Accounts”, which took place in October. This is where our players and members will be able to enjoy benefits and many new opportunities to interact with us and other players.
Work on developing the portal is in full swing, and we will be releasing content on an ongoing basis. Our goal is to provide our players with the best possible service and content – whatever their platform or game. The portal will feature PAYDAY 3, and of course PAYDAY 2 and PAYDAY Crime War, as well as any other future games we release or publish.
Tenth anniversary for our video game franchise
The last quarter of the year saw us celebrate the tenth anniversary of our most valued video game franchise. PAYDAY: The Heist was released in October 2011, and it is with a sense of awe mixed with pride that I note that in 2021, a decade later, our average MAU was a whopping 788,000. This shows once again how important our community is in the PAYDAY gaming experience.
Strong commitment has also led to a strong financial performance. In 2021, we generated PAYDAY-related revenues of approximately SEK 120 million, growth of 15.8 percent, and our EBITDA, adjusted for non-recurring effects, increased by 50 percent to SEK 74.9 million. Since its release, PAYDAY as a franchise has generated revenues of over SEK 1 billion.
Enhanced game development team
During the year, we also strengthened our game development team with new employees – our team now has employees from around 25 different countries. Starbreeze attracts talents. I have personally experienced the power of the company’s amazing culture since being its CEO for almost two years now. We work hard to help our employees progress, and this gives us a solid foundation for continued growth. We strongly believe in what we do, and we have a wide diversity of skills and people to drive development and creativity.
Broaden the PAYDAY brand
Our strategy is to release several games on the market that are either self-published and self-developed or based on licensed IPs, and we aim to release the next game in 2025 at the latest.
We are also working to broaden business related to the PAYDAY IP, creating additional revenue streams to complement PAYDAY 3 when releasing the game in 2023.
Conditions for expanding our IP portfolio
Overall, we see strong continued growth for PAYDAY 2, while PAYDAY 3 is being developed according to plan. Our ability to continuously improve our performance demonstrates the strength of our strategy and the capabilities of our teams.
We continue our efforts to deliver on our long-term goals – to create games where players collaborate and participate in bringing their gaming experience to life – and to create the conditions to expand our IP portfolio and reach more players with our incredible games.
It’s an amazing feeling to work with and lead this fantastic team that will carry Starbreeze onwards on our exciting journey.
Tobias Sjögren, CEO