Valve has announced that Artifact, the Dota 2 card game made by Richard Garfield, is due to be released on Steam on 28th November.
The game is also due to be shown publicly at this year's PAX West, so we should hear a little more about it in a month's time.
Valve has kept its cards close to its chest so far, but what we do know is Artifact will mix features from Dota 2 with those of a traditional trading card game. Like in Dota 2, players will be able to control three lanes of action at the same time, and there will be some familiar faces in the form of heroes and creeps. In the latest press release, Valve repeated its claim that Artifact will "give Trading Card Game enthusiasts the deepest gameplay and highest fidelity experience ever in a fantasy card game".
There are also some interesting points to be raised on exactly how Valve is monetising this game. Despite free-to-play games being Valve's strong suit, in Artifact's case, the game will be paid only. Unlike comparable card games such as Hearthstone, Artifact will also allow players to trade cards online - a way for Valve to further capitalise on the game via profits from the Steam marketplace.
Valve has stated that "280 cards will be available in the shipping set," which sounds as if more will be made available at a later point in expansion packs. Should Valve choose to go down the route of randomised card packs, it could face some difficulties selling the game in countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands, which recently changed their laws to class loot boxes as gambling. There is a workaround, however: Valve recently changed its Dota 2 loot boxes to allow players to see the rewards inside before purchasing, thus avoiding Dutch gambling laws.
We'll see exactly what the plans are in November.
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