Valve, the folks behind Steam and hit titles such as Counter-Strike and Half-Life, are finally making a new game. And it's probably not what you'd expect.
The gaming juggernaut just unveiled Artifact, a collectible card game set in the world of Valve's wildly popular Dota 2. When's it coming out? And can it take down Hearthstone? Here's everything we know so far.
What is Artifact?
Dubbed "The Dota Card Game," Artifact is a card-battling title set to release sometime in 2018. While we've yet to see gameplay or screenshots, we're guessing this is Valve's direct answer to Hearthstone: Blizzard's massively successful card game that lets you collect and battle with characters from all over the Warcraft universe.
According to Polygon, Artifact will incorporate some of the key mechanics of Dota 2, Valve's multiplayer online battle arena game that has teams of players fight for control of a map.
What platforms is Artifact coming to?
Valve has been silent on platforms, but PC seems like a guarantee. The game sounds like it would be a perfect fit for iOS and Android, where Blizzard's Hearthstone has seen a lot of success after first debuting on PC and Mac.
What the heck is Dota?
Artifact is based on the world of Dota (short for Defense of the Ancients), which is a gigantically popular multiplayer online battle arena game in the vein of League of Legends. It began life as a mod for Warcraft 3, and has since evolved into a standalone game dubbed Dota 2, which is now one of the most popular PC games around and boasts millions of monthly players.
Dota is also a massive esport, with professional teams currently competing for over $24 million in prizes at The International, Valve's annual global tournament for the game.
Dota 2 is free to play on Steam, and while you probably won't need to be a master at it to enjoy Artifact, it certainly can't hurt to get acquainted with Valve's competitive fantasy universe while you wait.