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Payday 3 developer Starbreeze have switched CEO six months after disastrous launch

Board decides new leadership required

A masked criminal sneaks around while holding a silenced pistol in the stealth gameplay trailer for Payday 3
Image credit: Starbreeze

Six month's after Payday 3's disastrous launch, Starbreeze have parted ways with their CEO, Tobias Sjögren. In an update to investors, Starbreeze's board said that the company now requires "different leadership", and they've appointed former CEO of Focus Home Interactive Juergen Goeldner as interim CEO.

"The company has a clear strategy centered around creating attractive games on our own and licensed IPs. The board’s consolidated assessment is that the execution of strategy needs a different leadership. Juergen Goeldner has been part of the board since 2023 and, with over 40 years of industry experience, is a strong interim solution," said Torgny Hellström, Chairman of Starbreeze, in the update to investors.

In their year-end report last month, Starbreeze admitted that Payday 3's sales were "significantly lower" than hoped, but that the company was focused on making a long-term success of the co-op heist shooter.

"There are many examples from the game industry, where a problematic initial time on the market is turned into long-term success. There is no simple recipe available, but a common thread from the positive examples is to take players’ criticism to heart, dare to support your game and keeping an open and honest dialogue with your stakeholders," wrote then-CEO Sjögren.

Payday 3 had severe server issues at launch that prevented people from playing. When they did get into a game, players didn't much like what they found. In recent weeks, Starbreeze released the first patch in Operation Medic Bag, the studio's efforts to respond to player feedback.

Aside from Payday 3 - and Payday 2, which is seemingly still performing better than expected - Starbreeze are also working on a Dungeons & Dragons action-adventure game aiming for release in 2026.

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