While working heavily on Steam VR and delegating as much of the work of managing the Steam store as they possibly can to the community, fans have been complaining for decades that Valve doesn’t release enough video games. Here’s their first game in a very long time, it’s a digital card game called Artifact.
Taking on elements from MAGIC: The Gathering, Hearthstone, and The Elder Scrolls Legends, Artifact is looking to bring three lanes to the genre. A huge inspiration from Valve’s MOBA Dota 2 can be seen in this system which implements the ability to sell cards to other gamers. Yeah this is probably not going to end well if recent loot box laws and crackdowns on CounterStrike skin gambling web economies are anything to go by. Valve will also look to sell individual cards when they add to the game’s content in the future, instead of releasing expansion packs.
There will be a $19.99 entry fee for the card game which is sure to include plenty of mictro-transactions and DLC offerings as all collectible card games do. The $19.99 package will include two base decks with a total of 108 cards between the two. That’s 10 hero cards, 18 item cards, and 80 other cards. There will also be ten “sealed” packs of cards which will come with some random cards and a guaranteed rare for each pack. These sealed packs will be sold for $2 each after the game is available.
Artifact is being designed by Richard Garfield, the creator of the original Magic collectible card game. At first launch there will be a total of 280 cards available for players to tray and obtain, collect, and play matches with. If you are going to PAX West in Seattle, Washington, USA between August 31, 2018 to September 3, 2018 then you can play the game before it releases and receive two free codes that will redeem you the $19.99 package so you and a friend can start playing the game without paying up-front.
Artifact launches for PC via Steam on November 28, 2018 and will get a mobile version release on Android and iOS at some point during 2019. The game will probably be a huge success within certain demographics, but it remains to be seen if Valve will start making more core gameplay experiences or just produce ‘thinware’ titles built specifically for money-making purposes. It’s been a long time since we heard about their VR game releases which have been notably absent during the launch and marketing of HTC Vive Pro, causing us to wonder if Valve is even making them still. Time will tell.