Starbreeze will be releasing Payday 2 on the Nintendo Switch later this month, finally making it available for every major home console out there. However just like the other console versions it will be leagues behind in updates compared to the PC version.
Overkill, the game’s developers, have not treated the console versions of their game very well. While Payday 2 on PC continues to get updates with the most recent being just last week, the console versions have been practically abandoned. Now I know that when it comes to releasing patches for games it’s not as simple as just making one patch and pressing the “patch release” button. Each version has to be tested and verified and all that but this isn’t a case of there being a few days or weeks between updates.
Payday 2 on consoles hasn’t seen a patch since June of 2017. This wouldn’t be so bad if that was the final product but the PC version has been getting updates nearly every week. Sometimes they’re balance fixes and sometimes it’s new content like new masks, nothing major to be sure but those balance changes especially can add up over time and the fact is if you’re not playing on PC you aren’t getting anywhere near the final product.
With the Switch version being released soon you’d think it would be up to date but the devs have decided to keep it on par with the other console releases. Overkill went to the game’s subreddit to explain what was going on but the fans still aren’t happy.
According to Almir Listo, the game’s producer, on the Switch “The content available at launch is up to and including the Most Wanted update available for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with future updates planned as well.” This sounds like good news but the Most Wanted content was released two years ago with 55 other updates having been released on PC since then.
Reddit user /u/sadlyuseless, who brought this whole issue to light listed all the content that has been added since then. According to him those 55 updates included the Crime Spree update, AI Henchmen and the Desync Update, which fixed a bug that’s been in the game since launch involving other players character models not being in the same position on everyone’s screens. On top of this there are also “5 characters, 4 perk decks, 21 guns, 8 melee weapons, 3 grenades, 11 heists, at LEAST 50 masks, countless bug fixes and optimizations (when I say countless, I mean it. Easily over 200) just… missing.”
Listo says that “We added as much content we could, including the new heister Joy, before we needed to finalize the game for submission with Nintendo.” This makes it sound like they tried really hard to give the best experience they could but it sounds to me more like they want all the console versions to be the same on release.
A more cynical person might say they’re trying to get away with doing as little work on it as they can by using the excuse that is has as much as the other console versions. That same cynic might also point to this phrase Listo came out with on the reddit thread: “…if you mean what the end goal of the Switch version is in terms of hard PC-update numbers, we really can’t say at this point.” With this they are admitting they may never update it as far as the PC version. Sure they will “still update and patch, and still add content on all platforms” but for how long? How much content are the console versions going to get before they just give up? I mean the PS4 and Xbox One versions have been pretty much left in the dust.
This all wouldn’t be so bad if they at least priced it appropriately. The Steam version of the game, that’s the one with all the content and patches, will set you back $44.99. The Switch version will retail at $49.99. That’s not a huge price gap but that’s a pretty ballsy move charging extra money for less content. If you want to play Payday 2, stick to the Steam version. It’s a good game at the end of the day and it’s usually pretty cheap when it’s on sale so you won’t have to feel too bad about supporting a developer that’s comfortable neglecting large amounts of their player base.
So that’s the situation as it stands. The newest version of Payday 2 to be released won’t be very new. Overkill has admitted it won’t have nearly as much content as the PC version but haven’t really given any good reason as to why. They haven’t really given potential buyers a reason to choose the Switch version either. Just to stick to the PC version if you want the best PAYDAY experience.