Valve’s new digital card game, Artifact, was hailed by many to be the Hearthstone killer before it even came out, but some fans and players are already beginning to find issues.
The highly anticipated game finally went live on November 28 and there’s no denying the fact that the visuals and gameplay are impressive, but the monetization element is rubbing fans up the wrong way.
“Artifact is unfortunately a really great game, and the best card game I've ever played,” says one Steam reviewer. “Why is that unfortunate? Because it's a money vacuum [...] This is a credit card game with limitless potential to spend spend spend.”
The angry members of the Steam community aren’t alone in their concerns. Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek, one of the most popular Twitch streamers on the planet, has echoed their sentiments.
“How do you earn your tickets if you lose?” asked the Canadian while streaming the game. “If you don’t get three wins in Expert Constructed or Phantom Draft, you don’t get a ticket back. So, if you lose all your tickets, the only way you get tickets is to buy it.”
Shroud went on to say that there should be a way for people to unlock tickets without sinking more money into the game, stating: “There should be another way to earn tickets to get you into Expert Play, you know?”
With so many players and prominent streamers questioning Valve’s decision to monetize so much of what would otherwise be a near-perfect collectible card game, it will be interesting to see whether the developers decide to backtrack.
The reviews of the pricing model aren't all negative - some players state that this is a model that many popular card games, including Hearthstone, implement to some degree, while others have noted that you can play as much 'Casual Phantom Draft' as you want without sinking more money into the game.
The issue with developers hiding content behind paywalls or microtransactions has been one that has come to the forefront in recent years, with some doing a better balancing act than others when it comes to keeping players on-side.