Saying that Valve’s Artifact didn’t perform well is a bit of an understatement. The pay-to-play online CCG started off decently but quickly collapsed and saw its player count dip into the low triple digits. Nearly a year ago, Valve promised “a better Artifact,” and today the developer outlined the first steps in its plans to make that a reality.
Artifact Beta 2.0 will make a few changes to gameplay, such as giving players access to all three lanes at once and adding a Hero Draft, in addition to “making the game easier to pick up.” Monetization is also clearly getting a look, based on this these statements:
“We have some ideas about what we’d like to sell, but none of them are cards/packs … In the new version cards are unlocked through play.”
So … what exactly will be sold? If I had to guess, I’d think this means that the base purchase will be decks, probably pre-made, and there might also be cosmetic items like card backs/skins, and emotes. If that’s the case, then the chances of Artifact 2.0 being a free-to-play game are likely rather slim, but until Valve solidifies those “ideas about what we’d like to sell,” you can’t completely rule it out.