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Starbreeze net sales up in Q2, but losses increase 832% year-over-year

EBITDA takes a huge hit due to “one-off effects” of licensing deal with Popreach

Starbreeze has shared its financial results for the second quarter of 2021, and reports growth driven by the consistent popularity of the Payday franchise.

For the three months ended June 30, 2021, net sales for the firm reached SEK 32 million ($3.6 million), a 2.3% increase year-over-year. Sales were partly driven by the launch of the Payday 2: City of Gold expansion.

General interest in Payday 2 also continued to rise during Q2; the company saw a 22% increase in Steam sales compared to the same period last year.

However, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation dropped from SEK 15.5 million ($1.7 million) in Q2 2020 to SEK -51.8 million (-$5.9 million) -- a 434% decrease year-over-year.

Losses before tax also increased by 832% this quarter to SEK -80 million (-$9.1 million), compared to SEK -8.5 million (-$972,458) the same period last year.

The steep declines were attributed to the "one-off effect" of a licensing agreement around Payday: Crime War.

Back in April, the company announced it had signed a new deal with mobile publisher PopReach, which has taken over the development, live operations and marketing costs of upcoming mobile title Payday Crime War after the game's former publisher shut down last year.

It's a stark contrast to the previous quarter, where Starbreeze's losses shrunk to just over $505,000 -- the lowest quarterly loss in many years, and the second sub-million loss (having posted $985,000 in Q3 2020).

Starbreeze added that the development of Payday 3 is "going according to plan" and still on track for a 2023 launch, following the agreement of a $50 million publishing deal with Koch Media.

Earlier this year, we spoke to new CEO Tobias Sjögren about the company's ongoing recovery from the brink of insolvency in 2018.

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