Valve announced that it is working on a trading card game at The International Dota 2 tournament last year, named Artifact. After many months of silence following the gameplay-less teaser, the company has now dropped a wealth of new information at a press meeting.
The game is being developed with Valve's Source 2 engine, the one that Dota 2 currently runs on, and Richard Garfield, the brain behind Magic: The Gathering, is involved in the development, although to what extent, we do not yet know.
Valve is looking to jump-start Artifact's competitive scene much like it did with Dota 2, and the company will be using the same strategy. An Artifact tournament will be held in the first quarter of 2019 with a one million dollar prize attached to it. Much like other competitive games of Valve, the card game will be very spectator friendly, offering live stats, the ability to look through player decks, and more, during live events.
The game will feature 280 cards and 44 heroes, with the gameplay taking place on a board with three lanes that have a tower at each end, and the win goes towards the player who takes down two out of three towers. While most heroes in Artifact will be familiar to Dota 2 players, there will be some new faces in the mix, and in time, they will cross over to Dota 2 as new heroes.
Interestingly, the game will not be free-to-play, a bold move in the trading card game space, and Valve says it won't be pay-to-win either. Pricing details have not been announced just yet, but other than the base price, Valve will be offering card packs that players can purchase. It appears that these cards can then be bought and sold on the Steam marketplace, giving players the option to purchase what they need and get rid of any cards they may not want.
Although there are no specific dates just yet, Valve has said it plans to launch Artifact on Steam in late 2018, followed by Android and iOS releases in mid-2019. However, closed and open betas may appear in the near future, similar to Dota 2's development, considering Valve has already begun showing the game off.