Late 2018 was filled with rocky game launches, anti-consumer practices and overall bad play experience. Artifact seems to have been one of those games and players apparently had enough of this treatment, as 94,5 per cent deserted the game.
Trading card games are notorious for having a baked-in tendency to lean towards loot boxes, and then there is Artifact. Unlike many other TCGs, Artifact is not free to play, and then requires further payments that the community has taken issue with ever since its troubled release in late November 2018.
Valve also decided to introduce card balance later on, offering refunds for cards players bought before they got nerfed, although the refunds barely covered a third of what some players paid for them. All of these issues seem to have culminated in a mass exodus from Artifact and on Tuesday, 15 January 2019, concurrent player count for Artifact was as low as 2.429, according to Steam Charts. The 24 hour peak before that point was 3.371, which is the number we used in our calculation.
All-time peak happened in November 2018, which is 60.740 according to Steam Charts or 60.646 according to SteamDB. We used 60.740 in the calculation and it resulted in rather scary numbers, as if only three thousand concurrent players wasn't scary enough.
The results stated that 3.371 is only 5,54 per cent of the peak back in November 2018. Keep in mind that this is not a free to play game that many just jumped in to check out, didn't like in the first 10 minutes and then left. This is a paid product, which usually means players buy it in order to commit to the game and by the extent, that players didn't like Artifact which caused them to abandon the game.
It remains to be seen whether Valve will manage to salvage the game, but considering the practices of paying for the game, then paying to play certain matches and paying for new cards hint at Valve's vision being completely detached from what the players want, it's hard to imagine Artifact rising from the ashes any time soon.