Valve responds to players angered by Artifact’s ‘pay for everything’ monetisation model

Valve has revised part of the monetisation strategy of its new digital card game, Artifact, following a backlash from fans.

Based upon Valve’s hugely popular Dota franchise, Artifact retails for £16/$20, which includes a set of starter cards. However, to add more cards to your collection you have to buy them via booster packs or win them through competitive modes that require purchasable entry tickets.

As PC Gamer reports, multiple Reddit threads have popped up online by players complaining about the monetisation system seen in the Artifact beta, as well as the 12-card booster packs. While they do guarantee one hero card, the others may come from starter packs which essentially makes them worthless.

"I’m just so saddened by the greed Valve is showing," said Reddit user filipanton. "I was actually changing my mind a bit about the game after seeing some gameplay as it seems quite complex and interesting, but the ‘pay for everything you do’ model, and now this, just forces me to not support the game."

"Since lifting the NDA on the private beta yesterday, there’s been an overwhelming amount of feedback on all parts of the game," Valve said via a statement. "Much of that feedback has been a clear signal that we underestimated how much interest and excitement the community has around certain features that weren’t available in the initial beta build."

The post goes on to detail three key issues; "there was no way to do a draft event with friends, there was no way to practice the draft modes without spending an event ticket, and there was nothing to do with duplicate starter heroes". Valve has now responded to those three features, acknowledging it hadn’t prioritised draft mode and promising that in the next Artifact beta build, "everyone who has claimed their starting content will find a Casual Phantom Draft gauntlet available in the Casual Play section", and players will be able to select "Call To Arms Phantom Draft" in any user-created tournament. The developer will also be adding a system that permits players to recycle extra or unwanted cards into event tickets.

The first two changes will be live for everyone when the public beta activates later today, while the recycling system – "as well as other improvements to the beta" – will release sometime "over the next week and a half". At the time of writing, Valve has not responded to complaints about trading or the issues players are having winning card packs. 

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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