After Overkill’s The Walking Dead flopped hard, Starbreeze is now trying to get out of its financial hole it fell into a few years ago.
Starbreeze almost went bankrupt, which is why they had to sell back System Shock 3’s publishing rights to Otherside Entertainment, as well as selling Dhruva Interactive to Rockstar Games. Now, the company’s newest financial earnings report, Tobias Sjögren, Starbreeze’s CEO, explained their current situation.
„Our PAYDAY franchise and “games as a service model” really showed their muscles during the year with several successful releases of content for PAYDAY 2. By late December, PAYDAY 2 had become the biggest game community on Steam, with 7.1 million members. We have executed two capital raises during the year and paid off a large proportion of our debts, strengthened our financial position, and thus enabling the continued successful development of PAYDAY 3 in 2021 – all key steps in putting Starbreeze back on the map as an industry leader.
I have implemented changes during the quarter to strengthen our organization within marketing and business development and continued to recruit the best developers to our studios and in so doing create the best possible conditions for the company’s journey ahead. Through the proven strength of the PAYDAY franchise and a highly dedicated development team, we now have a stable platform that supports the continued successful development of PAYDAY 3. We are standing strong and confident in our efforts to close a publishing agreement with a partner that is as passionate about games as a service as Starbreeze is and ready to join us in the successful launch of PAYDAY 3.
Starbreeze is a much stronger company today than it was one year ago. We are hugely confident, thirsting for revenge and thrilled to be able to focus to the max on developing our IP with PAYDAY front and centre. With expanded development capacity and continued good demand for everything PAYDAY, we are in prime position for future growth. I am truly looking forward to continuing the work with Starbreeze and the opportunities that lie before us,” Sjögren wrote.
Okay, that sounds positive. However, there’s also a Risks and Uncertainties segment in the document, and we have to quote from it. „Without additional financing, liquidity injections from divestitures or distribution agreements for Payday 3, the company could experience a liquidity shortfall in the fourth quarter of 2021. This entails a risk that the company will not have sufficient secured funds to guarantee continued operations for the next 12 months.” So if Starbreeze can’t find a publisher for Payday 3 (which is set to launch in either 2022 or 2023), the company might go out of business!
And because of it, we wouldn’t be surprised if another Sweden-based company, namely Embracer Group, would knock on its neighbour’s doors with an offer. After all, they recently picked up Gearbox and Aspyr Media, too…
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