News Sci/Tech Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren Departs After Payday 3 Debacle
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Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren Departs After Payday 3 Debacle

By Andy Chalk | Published on March 12, 2024

Starbreeze CEO Tobias Sjögren has been ousted from his position, signaling a significant shift in the company's direction. The decision comes merely six months after the calamitous release of the beleaguered heist-shooter, Payday 3.

The Leadership Change

Sjögren, who assumed the role of acting CEO in October 2020 following the departure of then-CEO Mikael Nermark, was officially appointed to the position in March 2021. However, the board of directors has now deemed that fresh leadership is essential to navigate the company's troubled waters.

The Payday 3 Fiasco

Payday 3's launch was nothing short of a disaster. Beyond lackluster gameplay, the game suffered from deep-rooted technical issues and persistent delays, leaving many players unable to even access it. In stark contrast to its predecessor, Payday 2, which boasted over 31,000 concurrent players, Payday 3's peak player count in the past 24 hours barely scraped 353 on Steam Charts.

In February, Sjögren acknowledged the grim reality: "Payday 3's sales and player activity are currently at significantly lower levels than we would like." Despite efforts to salvage the situation, it was too little, too late.

Looking Ahead

Starbreeze is now on the hunt for a new CEO. In the interim, Juergen Goeldner, formerly the CEO of Focus Home Interactive, will step in to steer the ship. The company's strategy remains centered on creating compelling games based on both original and licensed IPs.

While Sjögren's tenure may have come to an abrupt end, the saga of Payday 3 serves as a cautionary tale—a reminder that even the loftiest ambitions can falter without the right leadership at the helm.

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