Valve's 'Artifact' Struggling With Player Reviews Due To Monetization

"Artifact" Gameplay Screenshot
"Artifact" Gameplay Screenshot
(Photo: Artifact / Valve)

Valve's latest entry into competitive online-gaming may have taken on the form of a digital trading card game, but it seems that its players are not happy with the game's current monetization scheme. "Artifact" may be trying to become the next biggest online trading card game by basing itself on the 'Dota' franchise but the community's vocal reaction is halting its advance.

According to PC Gamer, the "Artifact" Steam page was recently hit by a large volume of negative reviews due to its current monetization scheme. The reviews are claiming that "Artifact" is wholly pay to win due to its current options for expanding a player's card pool being limited to random loot boxes and a direct purchase of the sought after "Artifact" cards.

Gamers giving "Artifact" negative reviews are emphasizing their dissatisfaction at the fact that the game currently costs around $20 but requires additional purchases to expand their card pool. PC Gamer notes that "Artifact" players who are looking forward to completing their card collection may have to spend up to $300 beyond the initial cost of the game to get a full collection. There are no methods of expanding a player's card collection beyond micro-transaction services.

Competitive gamers have already weighed in on the monetization model for "Artifact." PC Gamer notes that one of Team Liquid's professional gamers have expressed discontent regarding the paywall while a popular Twitch streamer known publicly as Disguised Toast, has also expressed disappointment over paywall. In Disguised Toast's view, while "Artifact" may be an engaging game, the fact that all cards that need to acquired to stay competitive must be purchased does not compare the game positively to Blizzard's "Hearthstone."

But not everyone in the community believes that the monetization model for "Artifact" is oppressive. Reddit user u/Neuromancerrr recently made a post on "Artifact's" subreddit defending the game's monetization model. According to the "Artifact" player, other digital trading card games that are less high profile than Valve's "Artifact" contain a higher grind point due to relying only on completely random loot boxes to acquire the cards needed by players.

In addition, u/Neuromancerrr points out that "Artifact" actually allows players to buy the specific card that they need which is already a quality-of-life feature on its own despite the high price value of some of the game's most sought-after cards. Regarding the high price point for certain cards, the Reddit user notes that one of the best ways to actually play the game does not involve the purchase of specific cards which are only useful in the game's constructed format. "Artifact" players who have already bought the base game can actually continue playing the game by joining the draft formats which do not require any additional cost to play.

While it seems that the "Artifact" community is dangerously split over Valve's decision to structure the game's monetization model, it seems that the game still has a healthy player base. At 60,000 players during the game's launch, if the negative reviews and experiences regarding "Artifact's" micro-transactions are not addressed Valve could find itself in a lot of trouble with its latest game.

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