Valve has revealed plans to introduce the new game Artifact. This Dota-themed card game was announced during the Dota 2 International live-stream and is scheduled for a 2018 release.
May be a Hearthstone-like card game
The trailer of the game is also out, but it doesn’t have much information to offer. The developer did not accompany the Artifact teaser with screenshots or game-play, which was quite disappointing. The only thing visible in the 35-second teaser video was a triangular logo.
However, broadcaster Sean ‘Day9’ Plott said that neither is the game Half-Life 3, nor it is a re-release or an improvised version of some existing games like Counter Strike: Go or Dota 2. Plott admitted that he had played the test version of the game, hinting that it will be sort of a one-on-one digital card-battling game similar to Hearthstone but with Dota-themed tweaks, notes Ars Technica.
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Plott told the crowd at the event, “I played a game where I was getting my ass kicked in two lanes. I kept building barracks in the third [lane], and I kept flooding the lane with creeps.”
An important fact left untold by Plott is that the said game is being developed by Brad Muir, who was earlier working with Double Fine.
According to Polygon’s Arthur Gies, Plott “gave a vague description of the game that seemed to indicate it would involve building barracks, creeps, and lanes (after suggesting the announcement was not related to Dota 2). Comparisons to Blizzard’s Hearthstone seem inevitable.”
This is the second time that Valve is coming up with a Blizzard-like game. First it was Dota, which was based on a Warcraft 3 mod, and now, it seems there will be a Hearthstone-esque card game, notes VentureBeat.
Can Artifact match Dota’s popularity?
Valve is known for developing multiplayer online battle arena games or multiplayer first person shooters; hence, a Dota card game was a bit unexpected. Its major gaming titles are Dota, Counter-Strike, Dota 2 and Team Fortress 2. It even made single-player games such as Half-Life and Portal. Dota enjoys a big following in China, the U.S., Europe, and Southeast Asia, and it is consistently the most played game on Steam.
Leading market research firm SuperData claims that the digital card game segment is expected to hit $1.4 billion in revenue this year. Presently, Blizzard’s Hearthstone with $40 million per month leads the list in terms of revenue. Shadowverse and The Elder Scrolls: Legends are two other major card games, but they’re not as great as Hearthstone.
Hearthstone’s expansion packs on the game have helped it grow its community at a fast pace. It also conducts the Hearthstone Championship Tour (prize pool was worth $2 million this year) to mark a healthy presence in eSports, notes VentureBeat.
As of now, Dota 2 is among the biggest game titles, bagging second place on Twitch behind MOBA League of Legends. Whether or not Artifact will achieve the same popularity will be interesting to see. It surely has a decent start as several gamers are already making requests on Valve’s Twitter account for beta access to the game.