Starbreeze Studios is no longer at risk of immediate financial ruin, and now has five years to pay back its debt.
Today Swedish creditors approved Starbreeze's request to pay back its $40 million in debt across a five-year period. The company entered reconstruction in 2018, and jettisoned all of its non-essential branches including StarVR while also selling rights to games like System Shock 3 as well as studios (for example, Starbreeze sold its majority stake in Dhurva Interactive to Rockstar Games). Starbreeze shut down all of its branches except for game development, and halted dev on all projects except for the Payday franchise.
To pay back its debt, Starbreeze expects to sign a big publishing contract in 2020 to fund a new Payday game, give more financial buoyancy, and set the Payday franchise up for long-term sales. Payday 3 is the key to Starbreeze's debt payoff and it's betting everything on the sequel--if Payday 3 doesn't take off, they could have to sell the IP and liquidate other assets. Payday 3 is due out by 2022 and will be optimized for PS5 and Project Scarlett next-gen systems.
Starbreeze will have until 2023 to pay back all its debt.
"Today, we are delighted and proud to announce that we have successfully completed the reconstruction process," said Mikael Nermark, acting CEO Starbreeze AB.
"It has been a toilsome journey for the entire company over the past twelve months, but we are very pleased to have gained the creditors' confidence and have succeeded in reclassifying the majority of our debts to long-term to be repaid over five years. We have also succeeded in positioning the company in a situation where we can look forward to the future and focus on our core business - to develop games within the PAYDAY-franchise.
"Together with all our employees, I look forward to reaching a publishing agreement for PAYDAY during the first half of 2020 via the ongoing dialogues we're currently in, and to develop the game into a worthy sequel to the series together with a respected partner. Our most important brand has great potential to provide the company with a stable foundation for decades to come."