Valve is ending development on Artifact, following over a year’s worth of work on rebooting the troubled virtual trading card game (TCG) based in the Dota 2 universe. It originally launched in 2018, designed by famed Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield. Despite “good initial sales” during a time when Blizzard’s Hearthstone was at peak popularity, Valve says its player count fell off “pretty dramatically.” At launch, our sister site Polygon said the game was “deep, but burdened by its marketplace.”
Both versions of the game, Artifact Classic and Artifact Foundry (also known as Artifact 2.0 beta), are now free to play. All cards and packs that were previously available for purchase can now be earned just by playing the game. The company says all card art that was in development has been released. Steam Marketplace’s integration for buying and selling cards has been removed from both versions of the game, but paid cards in Artifact Classic can still be sold. Here are the final patch notes.
Valve says both games will remain playable but not to count on any updates to gameplay. To that end, it says that Artifact Foundry is technically “an unfinished project” that has core gameplay but is missing some polish and art.
Artifact was one of Valve’s only new titles in the past half-decade, along with Half-Life: Alyx and Dota Underlords.