Summing-Up Artifact Monetization
Even before the release date of this game, there were too many speculations about the “unusual” ways of the Artifact Monetization. It seems like the trend to this peculiar business strategy is to disagree with everything that looks practically similar. In this time of day, where the mobile gaming states how the virtual goods are obtainable; we could say that Valve took a significant risk going the other way around. We all know how much popular the way that “free to play” plus “Loot boxes” combo currently is. It seems like this method has taken the reins on how every video game needs to have. Even if we take the “free to play” factor, the Loot boxes seem to be here to stay.
Now, taking all that aside. Is this popular business method better for the customer? At first glance, it seems like it doesn’t; the randomness from the loot boxes can quickly burn your money away. However, there are other methods to get cards that can be cheaper than the rest of the virtual TCG (trading card games) within Artifact. The thing though, is that not many people know the different ways that the Steam platform offers to receive virtual goods.
How do the trading card games genre gain revenue?
Since “Magic the Gathering” became a prosperous trading card game, a new business model became notorious. This time, you weren’t able to obtain all the card collection in a single package. Until this day, this model remains, which it follows this direction: There are starting pre-made decks to get you hooked in the game; but if you want the best legendaries, you’ll need to pray for the lady luck. By this, I mean that you had to buy “booster packs” that contain random cards to have one chance of getting something “shiny.” There’s no way to tell which cards are included in these packs until you open them. People more than often need to spend a small fortune to get the cards that they want. If their goal is to participate in tournaments, this fortune can quickly grow.
The “trading” factor is still there, but if you want the best that the game is offering, you’ll probably need to sacrifice half of your entire collection just for a couple of “good” cards. And that’s how you’re able to get what you need if you want to increase your winning probabilities. Now between all this commotion, the “Wizards of the Coast” company grows in revenue; by taking your hard earned money with all those boosters packs, you willingly bought.
The traditional “virtual” TCGs take a similar approach (Hearthstone for example); you still need to buy a lot of booster packs to have a decent collection. But the difference is that the starting decks are “free,” and the “trading” part is practically gone. You aren’t able to trade cards from your collection to other players.
How is Artifact any different?
Being paired with the different features that the Steam interface has to offer, and the influence of Richard Garfield. The video game Artifact was able to create a mixture between the old TCG business formula and Steam Features. This kind of approach meant that you have to pay ($20) for a couple of starting decks, five tickets, and ten booster packs. Now, the “traditional” way to expand your collection is to buy booster packs and hope for the best. In this case, Artifact uses the Community Steam Market to transfer cards for a certain fee. This different approach can quickly help you in gathering the cards that you want for your collection. At the same time, you can pick unwanted items that you wish to sell for some profit.
If you invest a little more (let’s say $10), you can obtain a decent deck from the Steam Market and raise your winning chances. That is if you like to play constructed. For the draft mode though, there are options to play without spending any more cash in the game. Just play casual until you feel ready to consume some tickets and earn cool prices.
What can get done to improve its appeal?
One of the main complains that casual gamers have about this business method is that you cannot get any cards for free. Although this statement is true, in the long run, you spend less money to gather everything available in the game. People can say that they can do this without paying a single cent in other games, but it takes a long time to achieve that. You may need more than 4 hours a day to gain a couple “coins.” The number of coins to exchange for a booster pack require a couple of days to gather. In other words, there should be more transparency from Valve to promote their benefits. But who knows, maybe when the mobile version becomes ready to launch, there can be promotions to gain free booster packs.
Knowledge is Power
Valve has built a lot of great features from their Steam interface that aims to improve the Artifact Monetization; the problem is that people don’t know much about it. Recently there were lots of reviews from players that have some experience in the TGC genre but are adamant about these options. There are some alternatives to do quick buy/sell of cards in the game, but they are still bound to the Market and its rules. People that aren’t too familiar with these benefits, usually dismiss any possible advantages. But this type of exchange can be quickly learned once the game starts to gather more “strength.” With more expansions and once the mobile version comes up, more people will know about its benefits.
The other option that can gather more discussion is the “draft mode.” This feature is available for free and brings a lot of fun due to its randomness. In the draft, you don’t need to have a vast collection to have better chances of winning. In each session, you can choose different cards that can create an entirely new deck. You can practice with all the cards that Artifact has to offer, creating diversity every time you try this mode.