Payday 3 is being developed in Unreal Engine, and could make use of new UE5 optimizations designed for next-gen consoles.
A recent Twitter post re-confirmed Payday 3 will be powered by Epic's Unreal Engine, and that the project is still in design stages. It's possible Payday 3 could eventually transition to UE5 as a future-proofed game on next-gen consoles, complete with massively advantageous new developments like the Nanite system, Lumen global illumination, and efficient optimizations for the new PS5 and Series X SSD storage. Starbreeze already confirmed the game is targeting PS5 and Xbox Series X with a 2022-23 release date.
Payday 3 was announced in 2017, but the game is still in its design phases thanks to Starbreeze's financial troubles. This long development time has seen the project shift as Starbreeze doubles-down on gaming and the Payday franchise, which remains the singular IP and sole focus for the company's business (all other segments have been sold off to help reduce debts). In fact, Payday 3 is Starbreeze's last hope: if no contract is secured, the company may be forced to sell the IP.
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At the time of writing Starbreeze has yet to secure a publishing deal for Payday 3. The games-maker is optimistic and is continuing development of the game in a bid to attract big-name publishers. It's possible 505 Games, who published Payday 2, and more recently Control and Death Stranding on PC, will be interested in Payday 3.