Which is to say that it all looks and sounds a bit grim. While Payday
continues to drive in revenue and will be the studio's key focus moving forward to maintain operating funds, its latest earnings report
highlights from stand-in CEO, Mikael Nermark, that the company will need to "streamline operations" with a renewed focus on "game development and publishing of own and third-party games".
Where this leaves employees of the other parts of the business and, indeed, how much that renewed focus even strips back the core development side of the studio will remain to be seen.
has been in a "reconstruction" phase of its business since early December in 2018, which has clearly had an impact on operations and earnings. However, as the report states, net sales for the year came in at $5 million USD, while overall operating costs came in at around $17+ millions USD, according to VG247
. The larger output can be attributed to the aforementioned reconstruction, however, the studio also lost time and return on the development of Overkill's The Walking Dead
, which was terminated by rights owner, Skybound
, VG247 also notes.
Sales in the first quarter amounted to SEK 47.8 million (110.1), of which PAYDAY 2 accounted for SEK 26.7 million (25.1). EBITDA amounted to SEK -106.7 million (48.8). The decrease in earnings is due primarily to lower net sales, higher administrative costs related to the re-construction and the negative accounting effect of the sale of System Shock 3 amounting to SEK 68.1 million
The CEO stated, adding:
My main task is to secure financing for the company’s future operations. This involves both long-term financing we can use to build the Starbreeze of the future, but also making sure that the assets we have determined are unrelated to the core business are managed in a commercially viable way. Once this financing has been secured, we will be able to look ahead and present a more detailed strategy for the future. In order to clarify the company’s business and value a restructuring of the company's assets and simplification of the legal structure is in progress as part of the reconstruction. All assets have been valued by an external party and the majority of core business assets were consolidated into two new legal entities. One includes employees and the other includes assets and the publishing business for titles developed by Starbreeze and third-party developers. We are in a challenging situation. I stand united with the entire Starbreeze team in the efforts to get the business in order. We have a very strong asset in Payday, which is the foundation upon which we will build Starbreeze's future.
Hopefully the studio can bounce back, and we hope not too many people have been affected by this. Starbreeze's efforts include the headlined The Darkness
as well as the banned-in-Australia FPS reimagining of the Syndicate
franchise. In February of this year, the studio sold back its publishing rights of System Shock 3
to rights holder OtherSide Entertainment