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Artifact has had a steep decline in players since launch

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Artifact has shed a lot of its early adopters, according to figures from SteamCharts (opens in new tab) and SteamDB (opens in new tab). In the last 24 hours, it peaked at a not insubstantial 12,670 players, but that’s quite the drop from the 60,740 concurrent players from November 29. It’s also gone quite a bit lower. It launched two weeks ago. 

That it peaked just after launch isn’t surprising, but the decline since then has been steep, especially given that few other games on Steam have the advantages it does. It’s still in the top 20 top selling games on Steam (opens in new tab) right now, but its popularity seems to be waning. It's still enough to get a multiplayer game right now, but we'll keep an eye on player trends and Valve's updates in the coming months.

It’s had a pretty rocky start. At launch, it was review bombed over monetisation (opens in new tab), and compared to other digital CCGs, it’s certainly pricey. Artifact’s most expensive cards (opens in new tab) cost about the same as the game itself, sometimes more, which will set you back £16/$20. It’s not a game for people on a tight budget. 

These were issues raised in our Artifact review (opens in new tab), but Will Bindloss still managed to find plenty to like about the game. 

Value for money, I'm well aware, is going to be a big factor for many looking to buy the game. But the strength of the design will be enough to keep me hooked. Not only is Artifact's depth remarkable, it also doesn't come at any great loss of accessibility. I'm excited to see the metagame develop over the coming weeks and months. Let's just hope Axe's price comes down a bit.

Cheers, PCGamesN (opens in new tab)

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.