Darktide gets two free updates: the co-op shooter improves its Steam ratings by 20%

On November 30, 2023, the cooperative shooter Warhammer 40,000: Darktide celebrates its first birthday. After a somewhat mixed start, the Fatshark developers have changed their strategy. This seems to be paying off, as current ratings on Steam show.

What is the situation in Darktide? The successor to the successful Vermintide series reached more than 100,000 players when it was released in 2022. But the excitement didn’t last long. Players were disappointed by the lack of depth, performance, and balance issues which led to decreasing player numbers and ratings.

Overall, Darktide has “balanced” reviews: on Steam, around 61% of players recommend the dark co-op shooter. In response, the developers announced that they would shelve paid content and work on tidying up the game first.

The strategy seems to be working, as player numbers and ratings are currently on the upswing. There will now be two free birthday updates.

Warhammer 40,000: Darktide teases the infamous Carnival in the new trailer

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The developers amaze with the rework of the lessons and announce the free update

What is the situation currently? At the beginning of October 2023, the announced “Class Overhaul” was released, giving the cooperative shooter real RPG skill trees. As data from analytics site SteamDB shows, Darktide reached player numbers last seen in December 2022.

The peak in the last 24 hours was nearly 20,000 concurrent players, nearly five times the number before the update.

The developers’ work is also reflected in the reviews: in the last 30 days they are 86% “very positive”. However, a look at the reviews shows that the players are still quite mixed:

  • The Box Ghost™ (not recommended): “I’m VERY close to recommending the game, but not quite yet. The game is significantly better with the class reworks, so I would almost but not quite recommend it, but there are two big things it needs to improve: [Das Crafting-System überarbeiten sowie neue Maps hinzufügen und mehr Deckung zu vorhandenen Maps hinzufügen.]“
  • Zarmanos (not recommended): “Hi, this is my 100 hour review. Good: The developers. Bad: the managers. […]“
  • Mr.Exterminatus (recommended): “Okay, now it’s better. Don’t pre-order games.
  • DeviousSquirrel (recommended): “The game is worth buying now.”
  • Warnstaff (not recommended): “I had recommended this game previously, but the continued broken promise of adding solo play “shortly after launch” and the lack of accessible mod/exploit options for my Steam Deck […] It led to the premature end of the game for me.”

It therefore seems that Darktide is on the right path, but the dissatisfaction and distrust of the players is deep and cannot be eliminated so easily.

What’s next? A two-part birthday update featuring “The Traitor Curse” will now follow. The first part is scheduled to start in November, the second will follow in December. The developers promise the following content for the first part:

  • A new cinematic aims to show the Moebian 6th’s motivations.
  • “Carnival” is supposed to be a “dodgy zone” that attracts people with cross-border distractions and entertainment.
  • With the new area there is also a new mission.
  • There will also be a new “Investigate” feature and an update to the Veteran skill tree.

Now it remains to be seen if Fatshark will be able to achieve a miracle similar to that of CD Projekt with Cyberpunk 2077:

Players enter a direct confrontation in Cyberpunk 2077 before and after 2.0, showing what they want

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