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Artifact is a video game created by Valve based on the universe of DOTA. The game is a multiplayer digital collectible card game designed by Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield. It generated negative reaction due to its microtransactions which include the ability to buy and sell digital cards, criticized by some as "pay-to-win."


Artifact was revealed on August 9th, 2017 at the International 2017, where it was booed by fans (shown below, left).[1] The trailer released the same day has a heavy dislike-to-like ratio as well (shown below, right).

Comments on the teaser include β€œHalf-Life 3 died for this,” β€œYou either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain,” and β€œgive us a new game stop with the cash grabbing methods,” illustrating how fans were disappointed by the lack of updates on anticipated Valve projects and its move into recent gaming trends like microtransactions. Unlike similar card-games, Artifact is not free-to-play yet still features the ability to buy upgrades and better cards via microtransactions. The game entered closed Beta in early 2018, was available for play at PAX West 2018, and was released for OSX and Windows on November 28th, 2018.


In addition to the initial disappointment to the trailer, Artifact was released to mixed reviews from Steam users.[2] While Steam users expressed that the game was high-quality, some users called it a "money vacuum" as cards were only available through purchase instead of grinding as is the case in other games with microtransactions. Steam user mastercoms wrote:

Artifact is unfortunately a really great game, and the best card game I've ever played. Why is that unfortunate? Because it's a money vacuum. It requires constant feeding of cash, with new packs planned to come out and no way to earn them for free. Cards on the market have a tax so you slowly lose your investment for every exchange you do. Events require paid tickets.
This is a credit card game with limitless potential to spend spend spend. And that's really sad because again, it's a really good game but they use that fact in addition to manipulative monetization to get you to pay up even more and regularly.

Critics were more positive. Destructoid[3] gave the game an 8.5/10, though in their review, they addressed the monetization plan, saying, "The bottom line is there is plenty here to keep you busy without spending any extra money unless you're very interested in building your own decks and playing with them." PC Game Network[3] gave the game an 8/10, praising the game's elegant design and complex gameplay.

Online Presence

The Artifact community on Facebook has over 16,000 followers.[4] Still, a majority of online discussion at the time of the game's release revolves around the displeasure with the microtransaction system. An inquiry about the backlash posted to /r/OutOfTheLoop[5] gained 95 points.

Search Interest

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