Payday 2 is currently in the midst of its annual Crimefest event, and the way it's choosing to celebrate this year has displeased a wide swath of its players.
Starbreeze Studios and Overkill Software's co-op shooter, which first launched in 2013 on Windows PC, with additional console versions on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360, now features a Safe item which drops at random. The result of the game's "Black Market" update, Safes contains weapon skins offering mods and stat boosts, which can be sold or traded in the Steam Marketplace.
The catch: You have to spend $2.49 to access the contents of the Safe. This represents the game's first attempt at monetizing its content in this manner.
This model is reminiscent of crates in Valve's Team Fortress 2, which offer weapons and cosmetic items to players who purchase keys to open them.
Previous comments from the developer indicate its intention to keep Payday 2 free of microtransactions. Almir Listo, the producer of the game, wrote in a post to its Steam forum in 2013 that "we've made it clear that Payday 2 will have no micro-transactions whatsoever," assuaging fans fearing otherwise.
Payday 2's community has not taken well to the news. A Reddit thread with over 4,000 upvotes called "Fuck you overkill" is just one of many expressing disgust over the introduction of stat boost-bearing microtransactions. Players have also bombarded its Steam page with a spate of negative reviews as a form of protest.
We've reached out to co-developer Starbreeze Studios for comment regarding the introduction and reception of the Safe, and will update when we receive it.