Artifact was released in November 2018 by Valve as a digital collectible card game based on the highly popular Dota 2 universe. However, within the first couple of months, player-activity dropped through the floor and the game was deemed pretty much dead. Valve had to pause all updates and return to the drawing board to analyze just how to keep away from a funeral. The developer, as it turns out, has decided to completely overhaul Artifact from the ground up.
Speaking with Edge for the latest issue, CEO Gabe Newell confirmed that Valve is working on a “larger reboot” of Artifact. The collectible card game is reportedly seeing so many changes that internally, the project has been dubbed Artifact 2. Newell stressed that doing so is necessary “in order to justify its existence to customers and to markets” but refrained from clarifying if the reboot will be a massive update to the original or a standalone sequel.
Valve was actually surprised by how bad Artifact was received at launch. Newell called it an “interesting failure” and stated that the developer believed the game to be a “really strong product” which was obviously not what the players felt. The developer now intends to learn from the experience and reimagine Artifact into what should have been done the first time.
We ran an experiment, we got a negative result, and now we need to see if we’ve learned anything from that, so let’s try again. And that’s what [the Artifact team] have been doing and that’s what they’re getting ready to release. Based on the reaction to it, what was wrong with the product? How did we get there? Let’s fix those things and take another run at it.
Artifact 2 has no release date for now. Valve will likely not be in the mood to rush the reboot. In the meantime, Half-Life: Alyx is just days away from launch. The virtual reality Half-Life prequel releases on March 23, 2020, and will have Alyx breaking into the Citadel to steal a powerful weapon — all in order to save the planet.