Valve Corporation, the developers of DOTA 2 and CS:GO, have announced they are releasing their first game in 5 years. Artifact, a digital card game set in the world of DOTA 2, will launch on Steam November 28th 2018.
The game will be launching for Windows, MacOS and Linux and is set at $20 (£15), marking the first time that Valve has charged for a video game since the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Purchasing the game will get you access to the platform along with two pre-made decks of 54 cards each and 10 sealed packs of cards. Each pack of cards will have 12 random cards, one of which is guaranteed to be a ‘rare’ card. Valve will also offer additional card packs for $2 (£1.52) each.
Digital card games have been around for a few years now, with Hearthstone leading the charge when it went into closed beta in late 2013, birthing a new esports community in its wake. Since then many have followed, trying to repeat Hearthstone’s success and attempt to remedy any failures – from indies like Duelyst to renowned developers like CDProjektRed’s Gwent or Bethesda’s The Elder Scrolls: Legends.
No one is quite as big or unique as Valve though, and with the company wading into the pool, the esports scene will soon feel the waves of Valve’s influence. One of the biggest unique aspects in Artifact will be the ability to utilize Steam’s community marketplace. While skin gambling has been pervasive throughout Valve’s esports games, the marketplace will also enable the trading of cards, an activity commonplace in physical card games like Magic: The Gathering, something that hasn’t been an option for any digital card game so far.
Attendees at PAX West 2018 will get to try out Artifact themselves in the game’s first public showing. The convention takes place from August 31st to September 3rd.
Esports Insider Says: A big player entering the card space will undoubtedly shake up the esports scene. While Hearthstone remains the dominant force in the space, many have been searching for the next big game to latch onto. With Valve at the helm, this could be the game to topple Blizzard’s behemoth.