Payday: The Web Series fans vindicated as Starbreeze announces live ‘TV or film’ adaptation of the games

Real heads know the modern hits owe everything they have to those ten-minute shorts.

A close-up of a live-action actor wearing a Payday clown mask.

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Payday is going live-action. Again. In what I’ve decided is the prophesied second coming of 2013’s Payday: The Web Series (opens in new tab), developer Starbreeze is once more committing to a filmic adaptation of its popular heist-em-up. In a statement released earlier today, the studio announced that it had entered into a partnership with Stockholm Syndrome (opens in new tab), an LA-based production company, with the goal of developing a Payday project “for TV or film”.

As I noted before, it’s not the first time Starbreeze has translated Payday for the silver screen (or, well, YouTube). The company dipped its toe into celluloid waters a whole decade ago with the web series it made to promote the release of Payday 2 (opens in new tab), although I suspect a full-fledged “TV or film” project might get a slightly higher budget than those shorts. 

Starbreeze has made plenty of live-action trailers (opens in new tab) for the series over the years, too, so I suppose it’s only natural it’d eventually decide to greenlight a full-on production effort.

Stockholm Syndrome CEO Greg Lipstone pointed at the recent success of other videogame adaptations as evidence that there’s never been a better time to make a Payday show or film. “The timing couldn’t be more perfect,” he said, “Just look at the success of The Last of Us, Halo, and The Witcher, all based on well-known games”. 

I’m not entirely sure that’s how it works, but I suppose I admire the enthusiasm. Plus, you’d hope a Payday adaptation wouldn’t infuriate game fans quite as much as the Halo TV show has (not that the outrage stopped it from being very popular indeed (opens in new tab)).

The ink’s barely dry on the agreement between Stockholm Syndrome and Starbreeze, so it’ll be a while before we’re all trading leaked shots of the Payday set the way we’ve been doing for Amazon’s Fallout show (opens in new tab), but you can expect Payday to grace TV and/or cinema screens at some point in the future. Until then, might as well watch the web series again.

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