Valve raised a few hopes before dashing them at this year’s International DotA 2 world championships, by announcing a new game. While the less jaded in the audience hoped it would be something related to Half-Life, the eventual announcement wasn’t quite as groundbreaking. Artifact is a brand-new title that will turn some of DotA 2’s most recognizable characters into a card game.
Collectible card games have been popular in the real world for decades but have become quite a powerhouse of a genre in the digital realm in recent years. Thanks to the growth of Magic the Gathering’s various incarnations, Gwent, and, most notably, Hearthstone (with its new missions), the genre is more popular than ever, and now Valve is set to add its own take on it with Artifact, A DotA 2 card game.
Beyond the teaser video for the game that was shown off at the event, details for what it will be like remain thin. We can speculate that the four colors of the logo could point to some measure of elemental components to the game. It may be also be that Artifact has a real-world counterpart as well as digital card game counterpart, though again, for now it all remains unclear.
There was said to be some indicator from International hosts that the game would involve base building, creeps, and lanes (as per Polygon), but the statements were rather vague.
As with most Valve projects, we likely won’t learn more until the game is finalized and ready, though we do know it’s set to debut in 2018. The official Twitter account for Artifact is now live, but beyond asking people to engage with it through the #PlayArtifact hashtag, the company hasn’t revealed anything of note yet.
PCGamesN suggested that the game will likely involve Valve mainstays such as user trading through Steam, perhaps leveraging its current trading card mechanic for certain aspects of it. If Valve were to opt for a collectible card game without a crafting mechanic like Hearthstone, it could lead to some rare cards becoming incredibly valuable, especially if they are easily tradeable.
If nothing else, Artifact will be a great way for Valve to provide additional rewards next year when it comes to funding The International 2018 through its Battle Pass system. It will need to do something special to top this year’s monstrous prize pool.