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Valve's Artifact Isn't Being Played By Many People

Things aren't looking so great for Artifact, the newest game from Valve. Twinifite is reporting that the company's digital trading card game has seen its player count drop significantly the past few weeks, leaving many to wonder what Valve has to do to get players interested again.

Artifact, which released on Nov. 28, appeared to start strong out of the gate. At one point after the game's release, there were over 60,000 concurrent players online, and it seemed that Valve might have another DOTA- or CounterStrike-esque success on its hands. But things went south in the month of December. Artifact's concurrent player count sank, and it now appears the game averages between 3,600 and 6,300 concurrent players per day.

For a company as large as Valve, that's incredibly disappointing.

Of course, many have looked at Artifact as a reactive move from a developer largely known for its innovation. And truthfully, the game's existence didn't sit well with a whole lot of the company's fans to start with. There are endless jokes about how Valve can't count to three, but one can probably imagine that a Half-Life 3 or a Portal 3 wouldn't be shunned in the same way Artifact's been over the past few weeks.

Perhaps Hearthstone already has the card game space locked down. Perhaps Artifact was doomed from the get-go, even with a big name like Valve behind it. Either way, it seems now that Valve has some decisions to make about Artifact in the weeks and months to come. It can make some big sweeping changes in hopes that players come back. It can try to convert to a free-to-play model and pray that more people give Artifact a look then.

Or maybe Valve can just look to the future. The company did acquire Firewatch developer Campo Santo back in April of last year. What are they working on?