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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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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was