Last night, mega developer/publisher Valve announced a brand new video game no one saw coming, titled Artifact, a digital trading card game. And the reaction wasn’t exactly positive.
Where long-time Valve fans are eagerly awaiting any news relating to development of a new Portal, Left 4 Dead, Team Fortress, Half-Life, or something entirely original, instead the next Valve project is instead jumping on the TCG bandwagon and into a crowded market made mega popular by Blizzard’s Hearthstone. But it’s something everyone’s trying to get in on (see: The Witcher 3 spinoff, Gwent or The Elder Scrolls: Legends).
No details are known about Artifact yet outside of its genre and that it’ll be based on the Dota 2 universe.
Monday kicked off this year’s The International tournament – the annual Dota 2 Champtionships which represents one of the biggest eSports events in the world, running from August 7-12, 2017, at KeyArena in Seattle. And last night in the middle of it, players were expecting the usual kind of news about new characters or updates coming to Dota 2 and instead, a new game with mixed to negative response. At the time of this writing the official trailer has 17 thousand dislikes versus 2.5 thousand likes and we haven’t seen that sort of ‘dislike’ campaign since the unveiling of last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
Valve is very calculating on their games and platform though so this likely means little in the long run. Just look how massive Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive are as top played games on Valve’s own Steam service.
And of course, one thing few people are talking about yet, but with Steam comes the Steam market. And that means trading and selling inventory. You know, things like digital trading cards. One thing these other top digital card games don’t do is allow trading and that, in addition to the brand power of Dota 2 and the Valve platform pushing this game to every user in the world, means Artifact is a surefire success. Expect Artifact to take advantage of Steam’s lucrative inventory marketplace, adding a key new dynamic to the game that only Magic: The Gathering has.
As for Valve’s other game properties which have so much demand and love but no supply, who knows. We thought Valve’s attempt at Steam Machines and their partnership with HTC for the VIVE virtual reality headset would coincide with some much-desired three-quels, but nothing yet on the aforementioned game series Valve isn’t talking about these days.
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