Remember Artifact? No? Well it was Valve’s take on the card-gaming genre like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering. If you didn’t know about it, or didn’t even remember it existed until now, then that just goes to show what a complete and utter disaster it was when it launched. Going from 60,000 players at launch, to 10K a week later and then finally down to 345 at the time of this article from last year, it’s safe to say that Artifact didn’t do very well.
“Artifact was an interesting failure in its first go-round," Gabe Newell, founder and CEO of Valve, tells the press. “We were surprised. We thought that it was a really strong product.”
Valve has notoriously never really had a flop quite like Artifact, but the studio is determined to work on a larger reboot. So much so that it is internally being dubbed as “Artifact 2”. But Newell states that this reboot has to be large enough in order to “justify its existence to customers and to markets”.
“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,” he continues. “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.”
Recently Newell stated that Artifact was a great inspiration for them, and more helpful as a studio for what to improve. When you have a successful game it’s hard to know what didn’t work and improve on it, but a flop like Artifact provides tonnes of lessons as to what to improve on. Will we see Valve’s comeback comparable to No Mans Sky? Time will tell, but it seems like they are at least working hard on it, so it will be interesting to see what changes/improvements they make.
An event listed on Artifact’s Steam page as "Under Construction" currently only says the following:
“First off, we wanted to say thanks for all of your tweets, emails and posts. The continued interest in Artifact has been encouraging, and we sincerely appreciate all of the feedback!”
“You might notice some changes soon – we are starting tests on our systems and infrastructure. This shouldn’t impact live Artifact but we wanted to give you a heads up.”
“Expect more news after the launch of Half-Life: Alyx!”
So looks like we’ll be hearing more news in the coming week after Half-Life: Alyx at least! But what do you think of the news so far? Are you interested in what Valve is changing/improving? Did you play Artifact? What did you think? Will you be playing the new version? Let us know!