Today’s the day for announcing things that aren’t what we were hoping for.
Valve debuted a new game at Dota 2’s 2017 championship, The International, today. Called Artifact: The Dota Card Game, it’s a collectible card game (CCG) set in the Dota 2 world, and will release sometime in 2018.
Valve didn’t share many details on the game but the early description sounds pretty complicated. There are three boards, and mechanics include lanes, creep and barrack building.
Naturally, when Valve said it was announcing a new game that wasn’t strictly Dota, everyone got tremendously excited, even though we’ve all been through this many, many times before. Will Valve ever release the third game in a trilogy? Probably not.
Iron Brigade and Massive Chalice lead Brad Muir is working on Artifact, according to a tweet from the former Double Fine designer.
Here’s a teaser trailer for Artifact:
The announcement will, of course, draw comparisons to Blizzard’s Hearthstone. Since Blizzard’s MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, is significantly less successful than Dota 2, it’ll be interesting to see if Valve can compete with Hearthstone, which is hugely successful.
Although Magic the Gathering and Mojang’s Scrolls predate it, Hearthstone – or more accurately the oodles of money it makes – has definitely opened the door for digital CCGs to become a real thing. CD Projekt RED brought Gwent out of the Witcher and into the real world, Bethesda’s got The Elder Scrolls Legends, and there are loads of non-licensed examples like Eternal, Shadowverse and Duelyst.
CCG mechanics are even creeping into other genres, including shooters. Warframe developer Digital Extremes has Keystone and just today Gearbox announced Project 1v1, instead of cracking on with Borderlands 3.
Card games and not finishing trilogies: those are today’s news themes, apparently.