Artifact, a digital collectible card game developed and published by Valve, got off to a relatively strong start when it launched at the end of November, peaking with as many as 60,000 concurrent players on Steam.
Since that time, the outlook for the game based on the Dota 2 universe has grown increasingly bleaker as users grow tired of the game’s ‘pay-to-win’ monetization system. For example, in addition to the $20 purchase price, some of the game’s highest-level decks are going for $60 to $80 apiece.
The ramifications of these publisher choices are apparent, as a recent study from market research group GitHyp shows that Artifact failed to finish 2018 in the top-100 games on Steam, Valve’s own digital content distribution platform.
As it stands today, Artifact is currently ranked 102 out of all games on Steam with the number of concurrent players sitting at only 3,000. While Valve pushed an update to end the year that now allows players to level up and earn tickets and card packs as they go along, the user numbers have not been notably improved.
This is not welcomed news for Valve, as it is currently facing a growing threat from Discord and Epic Games. Moving forward, the publisher will likely need to focus on developing sequels for Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, and Portal, in addition to building off of the successes of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, to offset Artifact.