Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 

Artifact had a rough reveal at The International 2017, Valve’s largest annual tournament for its MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) Dota 2. Fans in attendance saw its debut via a video. You can hear their excitement build as they understand Valve is about to unveil its first new game since Dota 2 came out in 2013 (not counting The Lab, which was more of a VR experiment). Then you can hear that excitement fade when they learn that the new game, Artifact, is a digital card game based on Dota 2 that’s coming out for PC later in 2018.

Valve was once known for strong single-player experiences like Half-Life and Portal along with its multiplayer games. Today, its gaming endeavors focus on live-service titles like Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. Seeing the studio’s new game follow a current market trend (started by Blizzard’s hit Hearthstone) was clearly a disappointment to fans hoping for either a sequel to another Valve franchise or an original game.

When I played Artifact at Valve’s headquarters in Bellevue, Washington last week, I asked the Artifact team about the reaction to the game’s debut. I wanted to know if the groans bothered them. But Valve took it as a challenge.


Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

Watch On Demand

“All the people we have in the beta right now have come from the Dota community,” Valve’s Jeep Barnett told GamesBeat. “They start out asking us why we’re making this game, and after they’ve played a few rounds they’re just so into it. It’s one of the most gratifying things for me as a game creator, to see somebody change their mind about a game. Just getting people hands-on with the game has shown that we’re making something people enjoy.”

That certainly reflects my own experience with Artifact. I was skeptical of Valve being able to stand out with another digital card game, but Artifact’s complexity captured my attention and imagination.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member