Always-online connections in games are becoming increasingly common, but rarely do they go down well with fans. We’ve seen enormous backlashes to the likes of Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, and despite its co-op focus, it looks like PAYDAY 3 may be next in line. Confirmed during a livestream with the game’s community manager Almir Listo, it sounds like you’ll need to be connected to the Internet to do anything in Starbreeze Studios’ latest.
“You’ll be able to play by yourself, but I do believe that you’ll have to have a connection in order to play because it's made in Unreal Engine, it's using cross-progression, crossplay, I do believe you'll need to be online to play,” he explained. A lot of these justifications don’t really make sense to us – Unreal Engine, for example, does not require an Internet connection – but we suppose Listo was scrambling for reasons to justify the decision among an increasingly hostile chat.
Obviously this series is primarily targeted at online play anyway, so in our opinion the decision doesn’t hurt as much as if it was a purely single player experience. However, many on the game’s Reddit page are pointing out that they’ve logged hundreds of hours offline in Payday 2, and don’t want to have to deal with potential server outages, disconnects, and so on. Some have even threatened to cancel their pre-orders!
With the game due out on 24th September, we doubt Starbreeze Studios will backtrack on this decision this late in development, so you’re probably just going to have to determine whether the always-online connection is a deal-breaker for you.