It was some time near 4AM last night / this morning, as I was watching Team Secret face off against Team Liquid in the Dota 2 championships, that I thought I should quit watching as well as playing Dota. This game is too addictive a substance. But Valve has other ideas.
Teased during the online broadcast of The International, the $23 million Dota 2 tournament currently going on, is a new Dota card game called Artifact. In fact, Valve calls it the Dota card game, though most of the details of what it will involve are up for speculation and debate. I’ll let Polygon’s Arthur Gies give the summary of everything we know so far:
Artifact is a card game based on Dota 2 involving three boards and a selection of characters from Valve’s flagship game, though other details remain light. The game was announced just before the final match of Day 2 of TI7 by event host Sean “Day9” Plott, who gave a vague description of the game that seemed to indicate it would involve building barracks, creeps, and lanes (after suggesting the announcement was not related to Dota 2). Comparisons to Blizzard’s Hearthstone seem inevitable.
For me, the one bit of respite from Dota 2 was in the fact it wasn’t available to play on mobile devices, which Valve has evidently decided is an untapped opportunity. The majority of the immense prize pool for The International comes from player contributions and purchases of in-game cosmetics, so there are a great many enthusiastic fans of the game who are likely to make Artifact an instantly popular game. Dota has a huge following in China as well as the United States, Europe, and Southeast Asia. It’s also consistently the most played game on Steam.
Should the new card game pan out in the same fashion as Hearthstone did for Blizzard, Valve would have its first mobile hit on its hands, having until now limited itself to desktop and console games. Artifact is slated to launch in 2018.