Last week, I took Overkill Software to task for how they’ve been handling the hype train marketing event for Payday 2 but since I am a fan of the game I wanted to throw them a bone and talk about what has been a common criticism of their development — DLC.
Payday 2’s post release support has grown over the last two years and has led to some confusion and a lot of fans complaining about how much content is released behind pay walls. DLC is a tricky subject and one that Overkill has been trying to take full advantage of.
Last year Overkill Software ran an impressive marketing event called Crimefest for their hit game Payday 2. The event featured months of lead up where players could influence the rewards they would get for free based on how many people signed up to the Payday 2 Steam group which culminated in an entire week of free updates to the game.
This year they are running the hype train event with the promise of the same system. However this time the event has become hated by the fans and at this point, it may not come anywhere near reaching all the rewards. The difference in marketing strategy is our subject today and why one promotion succeeded and the other is failing for Overkill.
Digital distribution and crowd-funding have given developers more control over not only their funding but how long they can work on a game. It’s no longer about rushing to get a game to 1.0 and then washing your hands of it, but cultivating a game with continued content or in other words providing a service.
And while there are major advantages when done right, it can also raise some red flags.
Following the release of Left 4 Dead we saw a new benchmark for cooperative multiplayer games. When Payday: The Heist was first announced, many gamers looked at it as an attempt to rip off Left 4 Dead by replacing zombies with cops. But through patches and new content, Overkill Software turned Payday into its own unique game aimed at challenging players.
With Payday 2, the developers have stepped up their game, but as they say — There is no such thing as a perfect crime.