- Starbreeze, known for Payday, is developing an official Dungeons and Dragons video game after the disappointing launch of Payday 3.
- Payday 2’s success and longevity through a live-service model influenced Starbreeze’s plans for Payday 3 and its new D&D game.
- Projekt Baxter, the codename for the D&D game, aims to have a cooperative multiplayer experience and could take inspiration from the tabletop version.
The company behind Payday, Starbreeze, is developing an officially licensed Dungeons and Dragons video game. This news follows this year’s disappointing Payday 3 launch, which delivered a blow to Starbreeze’s reputation.
Despite the issues with Payday 3, Starbreeze generally has a history of offering solid cooperative multiplayer games. Payday 2, developed by Starbreeze subsidiary Overkill Studios, was a massive critical and commercial success, with fans praising its unique mechanics and potential for emergent, strategic co-op gameplay. The game maintained a fairly strong player base over the last decade, due in part to the wealth of content it received post-release, in the form of both free expansions and paid DLC. Starbreeze’s commitment to this live-service model has helped Payday 2‘s longevity, something the company plans to repeat with Payday 3.
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IGN reports Starbreeze will be expanding its live-service offerings with a licensed Dungeons and Dragons game. The Swedish developer recently made a statement announcing the game, which has been codenamed Projekt Baxter, stating that it will take place in the D&D universe and launch sometime in 2026. A press release from Starbreeze describes the game as containing “the signature Starbreeze game cornerstones of co-operative multiplayer, lifetime commitment through a Games as a Service-model, community engagement and a larger than life experience.”
Very little is known about Projekt Baxter at this stage, but it will be interesting to see how the game’s development unfolds. Starbreeze’s mishandling of Payday 3, along with the fact that Projekt Baxter will most likely be compared to GOTY hopeful Baldur’s Gate 3, may not exactly inspire confidence in many gamers, however. Indeed, the timing of this announcement may result in some additional pressure being placed on Projekt Baxter, as the standard for a Dungeons and Dragons video game has been significantly raised this year thanks to BG3.
Having said that, there’s a good chance that Projekt Baxter will end up as a high-quality release worthy of D&D prestige. The hit that Starbreeze took to its reputation following the rough launch of Payday 3 will hopefully discourage any rushing or corner-cutting with Projekt Baxter‘s development. Moreover, Starbreeze can apply its experience with co-op to make Projekt Baxter more centered on multiplayer, better emulating the organic gameplay of tabletop Dungeons and Dragons. On top of this, while Baldur’s Gate 3 is a CRPG, Projekt Baxter doesn’t have to be, and could perhaps adopt a more unexpected genre, making it a unique spin on the license.
Dungeons and Dragons
Created by Gary Gygax, Dungeons & Dragons is a tabletop game in which players craft their own worlds and band together to take on adventures through mysterious realms outlined in companion materials. One of the best role-playing games ever made, it has been adapted into a variety of video games and other media.