Valve stops development of its card game Artifact due to low player interest

Artifact card game logo

Valve today announced that its digital collectible card game Artifact is being moved to maintenance mode, with the studio completely ending the development of the classic version as well as the Beta 2.0 reboot (now named Artifact Foundry) it was making.

While the title had earned good initial sales in 2018, player counts had fallen off dramatically following that. A decision was then taken in 2019 to reboot the game and reevaluate its mechanics and economy systems. However, player interest had never caught back on, which ultimately lead to today's decision of cutting off all development resources.

Both the Artifact Classic and Foundry versions will remain playable for those who are interested, now as free games. "We recognize that both versions of Artifact still have players and still have value to the community," Valve said. "For this reason, we're opening both games up to make them available for free to everyone."

Going free-to-play means all monetization options are also being removed, even offering everyone all cards available without needing to purchase anything. The final changes hitting Artifact Classic are as follows:

  • The game is free for everyone to play.
  • All players get every card for free. You will no longer be able to buy card packs.
  • Paid players' existing cards have been converted into special Collector's Edition versions, which will remain marketable. Marketplace integration has been removed from the game.
  • Paid event tickets have been removed.
  • Customers who paid for the game will still earn packs of Collector's Edition cards for playing; players who got the game for free will not.

Meanwhile, Artifact Foundry will remain in an unfinished state, with Valve saying it's mostly missing polish and art while on the gameplay side it's complete. The final changes to Artifact Foundry are these:

  • The game is free for everyone to play.
  • Players gain access to cards by playing the game. All cards are earned this way; no cards or packs will be for sale and Artifact Foundry cards are not marketable.
  • All final card art that was in the pipeline is now in the game.
Artifact game screenshot showcasing some of its cards

"We're grateful to all Artifact players, and particularly to those who were able to help us tune and refine what would become Artifact Foundry," added Valve. "The team feels this is the approach that best serves the community. We're proud of the work we've done on both games and excited about delivering them to a much larger audience of gamers."

While this Dota 2 card game spin-off project has ultimately come to an end, Gabe Newell recently confirmed that Valve is developing multiple games internally that are yet to be announced.

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