Valve’s Artifact player count has dropped 97 percent, which isn’t great

Valve’s card battle game, Artifact, isn’t looking too hot since launching in November last year. And now it seems that the game has hit a new low after figures suggest that the Artifact player count has dropped a whopping 97 percent since its release.

Artifact has been in something of a precarious state since it released back in late November and we previously reported that the Valve’s title didn’t manage to break into the Steam Top 100 most-played games of the year. And that trend has only worsened in 2019, with SteamCharts reporting that in the early hours of January 15, the game’s player count was at its lowest ever, with only 1,639 players active. At its peak, Artifact players numbered 60,740.

It comes after Artifact saw a short-lived bump in players after an update to the game, which lasted around a week before a decline began once again. The update allowed players to level up their accounts and gain rewards in the process. Though this did little for the larger issues that players have with the game. The main one being that, despite being a game that you pay for upfront, everything in the game seems geared towards a pay-to-win throughline in the game, with some players, such as this Steam review upvoted by thousands, suggesting that it’s near-impossible to get anywhere in the game without handing over extra cash.

Valve is yet to comment on the future of Artifact, though the Artifact player count is bound to cause some concern within the company.  Despite the lackluster reception Artifact has received, it seems doubtful that Valve will simply pull the game and let it be forgotten. In fact, the opposite appears to be taking place. Half-Life 2 and Portal writer Erik Wolpaw has recently returned to Valve and has worked on Artifact. Valve won’t be letting its card game go quietly into that good night, that’s for sure.