Artifact, Valve's not-so-anticipated trading card loot box galore will be released on 28 November 2018. The game will be shown on PAX West first, which should offer more information on the Dota-themed TCG before its eventual release.
While Valve have attempted to keep info about the game hidden during development, it's not really like anyone was trying hard to pry it off them. The announcement reaction in the video above speaks volumes on how fans are "interested" in a Dota styled TCG. Behind an odd clap here and there, boos and sounds of disappointment can be heard all over the place.
Valve still claim that Artifact will provide TCG players with "the deepest gameplay and highest fidelity experience ever in a fantasy card game", but it's hard to imagine it grabbing much success due to market saturation and gamers' increasing aversion towards loot boxes.
Cards from Artifact will be tradable on Steam's marketplace which will both provide players with an opportunity to bypass loot box gambling and Valve with an opportunity to grab some money in the process.
There will be a total of 280 cards available in Artifact at launch but chances are more will be introduced in inevitable expansions post launch. Valve haven't clearly confirmed whether the cards will be available through loot boxes and this approach could give them minor headache in Belgium and the Netherlands.
Then again, they did those countries' anti-gambling laws so there isn't much stopping them from peddling loot boxes worldwide. It was apparently enough to tell players what they will get from the next loot box in line, but they would still have to gamble on the contents of loot boxes coming afterwards.
Artifact's Steam store page has been updated with the release date but no info on pricing or monetisation options at launch so it's not yet clear whether it will be free to play like GWENT and Hearthstone or how much it will feel like a pay to win game. Or even worse - a copy of its two older siblings.