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Valve under fire for 'greedy' Artifact monetisation system

Developer introducing new features during the game's beta to alleviate some concerns

Valve is facing a backlash against the mechanics of its latest release Artifact, a card-collecting game based on the popular Dota series.

PC Gamer quotes multiple Reddit threads and Twitter users where players are complaining about the monetisation system seen in the Artifact beta.

The game is sold for $20 with a a set of starter cards, but the only way to collect more is to buy them with real money. Players can either buy booster packs for $2 or buy and sell individual cards to each other for various prices, with Valve taking a share of each sale.

The only way to win new cards in-game is by playing special modes and events, but these require tickets to enter, which must also be purchased with real-world money.

There is no ability to trade cards at the moment, meaning there is no way to clear duplicates from your collection.

GamesIndustry.biz spoke to the team behind Artifact earlier this year, who claimed the idea was to model physical trading card games, where you need to buy or barter for every card you own.

"It's not pay to win... it's pay to participate," lead designer Richard Garfield told us.

But users complaining about the system have described it as "pay for everything you do", with others saying they're "saddened by the greed Valve is showing" and slamming these paywalls as a "huge fucking mistake."

Valve has since posted an announcement about planned changes for the game, which address these concerns. The company said it has received "an overwhelming amount of feedback."

Going forward, players will be able practice certain modes without spending event tickets, and that unwanted cards can be recycled into event tickets. The former is in effect immediately, while the latter will be introduced "over the next week and a half."

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Latest comments (2)

Alfonso Sexto Lead Tester, Ubisoft Germany29 days ago
"It's not pay to win... it's pay to participate,"

Didn't the users did that already with those initial $20?
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 29 days ago
No, the initial $20 are pay to start the executable.
The microtransactions are then pay to participate.
Not to be confused with the streaming ticket which is pay per view.
Not to be confused with expansion packs which are pay to mix it up some more.
Not to be confused also with the money you spend buying cards to build a deck according to optimized meta-strategies which is pay2win indeed.

and since Valve frowns on py2win, they will change that meta with monthly updates to make things more balanced. If that somehow, by accident, serendipitously causes a new meta to emerge for which you would need to buy new cards to keep winning quickly, then you can either trust in Valve and wait for another balance update, or pay2win some more in the meantime, consumer choice is important, after all.

You see Alfonso, you are in the best hands here.
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