Gabe Newell was present during a game announcement for Artifact, a digital card game based on Valve's DOTA 2 franchise with help from Richard Garfield.
The latter is credited for the hugely-popular Magic: The Gathering collectible card game, which is available physically and digitally. Newell's presence presumably gave Half-Life fans some small sliver of hope regarding a third installment, but most industry insiders know that it's not going to happen anytime soon. During the closed-door presentation, the developers revealed new details about the multi-platform game as well as its expected release schedule.
Game Description And Development Tools
The game was first announced during The Invitational tournament last year. Fans already expect that the digital card game will be handled with care and production values will be top-notch. Valve pointed out that it will be the first game developed with its Source 2 engine intended for mobile devices.
Additionally, Newell likens the deck building and card pack opening to "a social and competitive experience." Familiar elements like the workshop and marketplace featured by the MOBA it is based on will allow players to buy and sell items earned in-game.
He elaborated that fans should not expect the card game to be a reworked version of the DOTA 2. Instead, it will become a platform to generate new content for the former like new heroes and more.
Here are some of the first images of Artifact - a collaboration with Magic creator Richard Garfield and set in DOTA universe. 280 cards, 44 heroes, "three lanes" of gameplay and some adorable imps. pic.twitter.com/z1YIdlC4wA — Geoff Keighley (@geoffkeighley) March 9, 2018
According to Valve, Artifact does not and will not have a single-player campaign. It is expected to encourage and promote multiplayer matches, perhaps after a brief tutorial of its mechanics, which has yet to be fully explained.
Gamers should likewise be aware that the new title is a paid game unlike Hearthstone, a rival digital card game published by Blizzard Entertainment. The game studio's decision to abandon a free-to-play format suggests that it is most likely going to be an expensive game. The price for the base game and card packs have yet to be announced, but the developers confirmed gamers can sell in-game items.
At its launch, the digital card game will feature 44 heroes and 280 cards, which characters will be clearly taken from the DOTA franchise.
Release Date And Availability
Being a multi-platform game, Artifact is expected to launch for PC, consoles, and mobile devices. A limited closed beta is reportedly available for select people, which is likely a way for the developers to collect feedback about its gameplay and mechanics.