Potential players of Valve's upcoming trading card game, Artifact, have voiced discontent with the monetization model. Due to the sheer scale of the backlash, Valve took one, albeit minor, step back on the seemingly rather greedy road.
Artifact enthusiasts have been preordering the game until recently, when they figured out that the game will not only charge an entry fee, but will also put up a massive paywall. Players will not be able to get any new cards in their decks until they shell out the real life money.
As PC Gamer reported, Artifact would force players into buying booster packs for $2 each, on top of the game costing $20 itself. The only other way to get cards would be to play in draft modes, as casual games offer no card awards. As it turns out, players will need to purchase tickets to be able to play a draft match, and as you may have guessed by now, the tickets cost real life money.
Since this is a TCG, players are thrown at the mercy of RNG, which could give you useless cards out of booster packs. Therefore, a massive money sink is in place and it remains to be seen how outraged the community will eventually get over the system that doesn't allow getting new cards by just playing the game.
As it stands now, the fans were pretty pissed, which forced Valve to make some compromises. They eventually added a Phantom Draft mode where players could practice for paid drafts, as well as a system to recycle any cards they didn't want. This system will offer a sort of rebate on the RNG card rewards that players didn't want.
Once recycled, the cards will award tickets, which players can use to enter the otherwise paid mode, and eventually win some other cards. The system is still not ideal, since it is still nagging the players to buy loot boxes, but that's one of the inherent flaws of trading card games. Artifact's subreddit outrage seems to have subsided for the moment.