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Valve announces Artifact, its Dota-themed card game

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A Dota-themed digital card game is coming in 2018. Valve made the announcement today at the 7th annual Dota 2 competition The International, the biggest tournament in esports.

The announcement came as a surprise, as Valve develops multiplayer online battle arena games like Dota and Dota 2 or multiplayer first person shooters like Team Fortress 2 and Counter-Strike (and used to make single-player games, too, like Half-Life and Portal). Market research firm SuperData predicts that the digital card game could hit $1.4 billion this year. On top is Blizzard’s Hearthstone, which has earned as much as $40 million per month. It has a vibrant community that’s growing month to month, thanks to its many expansion packs like the new Knights of the Frozen Throne. It’s also got a health presence in esports with the Hearthstone Championship Tour, which features a prize pool of $2 million this year.

Other big names on the card game circuit include Shadowverse and The Elder Scrolls: Legends. But none of them are as big as Hearthstone. But Dota 2 is one of the biggest games around right now, ranking above Hearthstone on Twitch at No. 2, behind the reigning MOBA League of Legends. It’ll be interesting to see how many Dota players will play Artifact — and if Valve will use any tie-ins and other cross-promotional marketing attempts with Dota, CS:GO, and Team Fortress players to get them to add this new card game to their Steam accounts.

This is the second time in recent years that Valve has followed in Blizzard’s footsteps. Dota is based on a Warcraft 3 mod, and it seems now that we will be getting a Hearthstone-esque card game.

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