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.

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.



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