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Dead by Daylight boosts Starbreeze revenue

Behaviour's horror title inspired 58% full year rise, Payday 3 in production as IP sales show decline

Dead by Daylight was integral to Starbreeze Studios' financial performance in 2016, contributing more than 50% of total revenue in Q4 alone.

Behaviour Interactive's asymmetrical horror title launched for PC in June last year, with Starbreeze as its publisher. It was a success, with 1.8 million sales by the end of the calendar year and a contribution of SEK 54.6 million to the company's Q4 revenue - according to Starbreeze, that's a larger amount than its launch quarter.

It's also more than half of the SEK 99.4 million the company earned as a whole, making Dead by Daylight almost entirely responsible for the 103% increase in Q4 revenue. Indeed, the Swedish publisher needed another hit, as its other big IP, Overkill's Payday, showed declining revenues in the quarter, slipping from SEK 47.7 million to SEK 37.2 million year-on-year.

Across the entire year, Starbreeze earned SEK 345.5 million in revenue, up 58% from SEK 218.4 million, with profit climbing 45% to SEK 57.1 million.

In documents accompanying its financial results, Starbreeze confirmed that production of Payday 3 has started, and the game is at the "full design stage." However, CEO Bo Andersson Klint pressed the point that Payday 3 will, "enjoy as much time as we deem needed. It will be done when it's done. This is our single most important brand today and the cornerstone of our business and we will treat it accordingly."

On the company's Q4 performance, Klint said: "We're proud to yet again show a triple digit growth for [Q4], and the highest EBITDA since the launch of Payday 2. It is a solid performance that shows our ability to deliver profitability while we are scaling our business to secure future growth."

And Starbreeze is certainly scaling, with a release slate that includes Overkill's take on The Walking Dead, a mobile game based on the Payday IP, a co-op version of Smilegate's Crossfire, and Dead by Daylight for consoles. It is also working with the Croatian developer Lion Game Lion on Raid: World War II and the indie project AntiSphere, and it recently invested $8 million to bring Double Fine's Psychonauts 2 to market.

Following the acquisition of the Indian art specialist Dhruva Interactive in December, Starbreeze now has 550 employees.

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