It was a little over two weeks ago that we wrote about Valve’s digital trading card game, Artifact, losing a dramatic number of players. Unfortunately - albeit unsurprisingly - the game has continued to bleed even more players since the beginning of the year.
According to Kotaku, this past Sunday, Artifact’s concurrent player count dropped below 1,500, which is the lowest number of players for the game since it launched on November 28, 2018. In fact, Sunday’s numbers represent a staggering 97.5 percent drop in players since the game was released.
The news comes following the game’s latest lackluster updates, which included some minor bug fixes, minimal quality of life gameplay changes, and enhancements to in-game chat functionality (which probably should have existed in the game to begin with).
Even though the Dota 2-inspired digital trading card game was announced at an international Dota 2 event, fans have not embraced Artifact with open arms. But why would they? Although the cost of the game runs at a reasonable price of $19.99 USD, the reality is that players need to shell out considerable amounts of real-life cash if they want to build a competitive deck.
It hasn’t even been a full two months since Artifact came out, but let’s be honest. The game was never a title that fans were expecting (or wanted), nor was it ever widely considered as the game that would return Valve to its glory days of game development, when fan-favorite franchises such as Left 4 Dead and Half-Life were being put out by the company.
Other digital trading card games are also already doing it better than Artifact. Hearthstone continues to dominate the digital trading card game genre, reaching the milestone of having 100 million players last November. Also, while Blizzard Entertainment does not publicly release concurrent player statistics, it is safe to say that their numbers are probably doing just fine considering the game continues to be one of Twitch’s top-watched games.
Unless something drastic happens, Artifact will likely continue to see its numbers dwindle, especially as fans of the digital trading card genre prepare for thre release of Mega Crit Games’, Slay the Spire, which has seen “Overwhelmingly Positive” success while in Early Access, and has maintained higher concurrent player counts than Artifact since mid-December.
Stay tuned to The Gamer for our review of Slay the Spire following its full-release on January 23rd.