The Artifact player count has dropped significantly since its launch in late 2018. Recent average player numbers on SteamCharts show that an average of 2,540 players were playing the game yesterday. This represents a roughly 77.3 percent decline in player numbers when you compare it to December’s average of 11,168.6 average players. The numbers do look slightly better for the last 30 days at an average of 3,823.3 (a 65.8 percent decline), but the game’s player base has clearly been trending downward ever since its launch.
A casual examination of the Artifact player count shows it starting strong with a peak of 46,456 players in late November 2018. This number gradually declined before hitting a low of 6,799 on December 19, 2018. The Artifact player count climbed back up to 11,522 players on the following day before continuing its gradual downward trend bringing us to today. Now, there are just over 2,500 players on average battling it out in Valve’s DOTA-based trading card game.
This certainly isn’t good news for Valve’s newest game release. The general downward trend for Artifact has been uncharacteristically bad for a relatively new game released by the Washington-based developer. As a point of comparison, here are the 30-day averages of some of Valve’s other multiplayer games:
- Artifact: 3,821.5
- Counter-Strike: 12,699.5
- Counter-Strike: Source: 4,759.1
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive: 402,966.4
- Day of Defeat: Source: 464.5
- Dota 2: 456,445.2
- Half-Life 2: Deathmatch: 182.7
- Portal 2: 2,987.1
- Team Fortress 2: 51,375.5
At the moment, Artifact is only just ahead of Portal 2 and well ahead of Day of Defeat: Source and Half-Life 2: Deathmatch. Even today, most of Valve’s recent releases still boast respectable player counts, but Artifact seems to be struggling to stay afloat.
Adding to the troubles of the Artifact player count are its reviews on Steam—it’s since crossed into “Mostly Negative” territory. Some of the negative reviews rated as most helpful highlight issues with the monetization model, a declining playerbase, and a lack of lower-level players for newbies to go head-to-head with. The way that player progression is handled is also brought up as a point of contention in some of the negative reviews voted most helpful. Discussion of the decline on Reddit’s /r/Games subreddit similarly highlights these issues while praising the game’s strengths.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Many of the most helpful reviews essentially state that Artifact has strong fundamental gameplay. As good as the game might be, there might not be very many people to play against in the near future if Valve doesn’t act quickly and get a handle on the situation.