Overkill talk Payday 2. The devs chat about two more years of bank smashing action

The sometimes stealthy (but oft shooty) heists of Payday 2 have finally blasted their way onto current-gen consoles via the new Crimewave Edition, bringing with them a swag bag full of new features. It also turns out developer Overkill is looking to support the new version for almost two more years (as well as working on a new game based on The Walking Dead), In a previous issue of Official PlayStation magazine, the team sat down with Starbreeze global brand directer Almir Listo to discuss everything from the popularity of heists to the decision to support the game long term.

Official PlayStation Magazine: What can we expect from Payday 2’s PS4 Crimewave Edition?
Almir Listo:
Imagine your favourite heisting game is getting 16 months more of love and care... that’s exactly what’s happening with Payday 2 Crimewave Edition. One of the challenges we faced with PS3 is that, from a technical standpoint, that generation is a decade old. So it was very difficult for us to add a total of 50 updates like we were able to do on PC. But with PlayStation 4, it’s so much easier for us to add these in and I really hope that those of you who make the transition to the next generation of PlayStation take a chance and try the Crimewave Edition, because you’ll experience a different game [to before].We’ve revamped many of the skills systems, we’ve added more skills, we’ve doubled the amount of characters... You have Clover, the first playable female character of the series, Dragan the Croatian heister, John Wick, and Old Hoxton is back as well. You have more weapons, more masks, more heists – there’s basically more of everything!

OPM: Despite hefty competition from GTA Online and Battlefield Hardline, you’re pretty proud of Payday 2’s heists, right?AL: Yeah, when it comes to heisting and if we just talk about heists then we definitely see ourselves as the defending champions. We have to, and that means we have to stay extra fit and we have to work twice as hard in order to keep our heavyweight belt of heisting. But don’t get me wrong, we have nothing but respect for those developers who are making those games. We enjoy and love their games and we definitely play them and see what they did good and what they could’ve done better. But with Payday 2 we are proud of our audience and community; we know what they want, and the reason we know is because we’re continuously talking to them.
For the past several years we’ve been talking with them, discussing designs, discussing ideas, DLC, having fun and so on. So I think we’ve got everything we need in order to stay on top – now we just have the hard work in front of us. One of the good things as well is that we’ve now signed 24 months of extra development with our publishing partner 505 Games. That means when you commit to Payday 2 Crimewave Edition, you know that the game is going to be developed for an additional 24 months. You know that there are still 16 updates that we’ve released since we finalised the submission – so you know that there’s at least 16 updates coming relatively soon – and then you know there’s two years of additional content coming afterwards.

OPM: Payday 2 first came out in 2013 – so why have you now just made a commitment for two more years from this point?AL: We’ve made that commitment because we want to continue working on Payday 2. The reason being that we know there’s so much more left to explore. What developers usually do – and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but we don’t want to do this – is that, as soon as they’re done with the first game, they instantly start work on the second game. And as soon as they’re done with that one, they’re instantly starting work on the third one. We don’t want to do that. We know there is so much more to experience within Payday 2. And what you’ll also get when you start working on a completely new game is that you have to completely re-do all the systems and so on, but at the end of the day you end up with a similar experience. But with Payday 2, working on the game instead of just building a new one, we can actually just keep on adding to the experience that’s already there, and continue to revamp the systems that already exist.

OPM: And the frequency of these updates you’re talking about just wasn’t possible on PS3, but you can do them all on PS4, right?AL: Yeah. Sony and the guys in the PlayStation teams have learned a lot about what developers want and what developers want to see – the kinds of tools [we need] and so on. They’ve done a great job with PS4 and it’s easier than ever before for us to do what we want to do. I’m so excited to see how much content we can cram into the console.

OPM: What’s your favourite heist and why?AL: It has to be the Hotline Miami heist – the reason being that it spawned out of a collaboration with Dennaton Games, the developer of Hotline Miami, and we’ve done our own twist on it. So we based a heist around a Russian mobster and we also introduced new masks as well as new weapons inspired from the universe. It’s great because it’s different. It’s crazy. You’re shooting up tons of Russians at a motel, and then you move onto their headquarters and chase down their boss... We have a proper boss fight.

The latest issue of Official PlayStation Magazine, with four different collectible covers (including Uncharted 4, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, The Division and Fallout 4) is out now. Subscribers will receive a limited edition subs cover featuring The Last Guardian. Download it here or subscribe to future issues.

Dom has been a freelance journalist for many years, covering everything from video games to gaming peripherals. Dom has been playing games longer than he'd like to admit, but that hasn't stopped him amassing a small ego's worth of knowledge on all things Tekken, Yakuza and Assassin's Creed.