Darktide seems to have been taking the live service approach to their launch. Like Anthem, Fallout 76, and others who have tried this unsuccessfully at launch, it requires an extremely optimized content delivery pipeline. Even then, in many cases, companies with fast pipelines often run a free to play model to capitalize on it.
Launching in a broken and unfinished state is one thing, and there are many other threads on that topic. Fatshark has decided on a live service approach by launching the shell of what it aims to be, without the velocity required to deliver on this promise, combined with a cash shop that only works around a high velocity content schedule. Additionally, that same content cycle is priced in a manner not consistent with a paid offering.
It seems to me as if Fatshark has attempted to draw from the systems of paid , live service, and f2p games but only succeeded in taking the worst parts of each system, and executing them poorly.
A Free to Play time limited content game, optimized with consistent updates would be a good game (a la fortnite)
A live service that launched with a stable foundation, with monthly meaningful content updates would be a good game.
A more expensive, optimized and higher cost experience, with yearly DLC would have been a good game.
Instead, we have a hodge podge of all of the above, each executed terribly and often in a conflicting manner. I have no idea where the game will go from here. Vermintide 2 improvements were measured in years, and the method of building for this game would only succeed if they could condense that to months.
The game has an identity crisis, and in my opinion isn’t worth playing until it figures out what it wants to be. I regret having pre purchased the game after seeing the free to play monetization, I’ll have to own that I suppose.