Some of you might remember that back in the day Valve decided to create a collectible card game based on the DOTA franchise called Artifact. Upon rough launch Artifact almost died, but Valve tried to save it by announcing a reboot called Artifact 2.0 that supposedly featured a multitude of changes. However, now it seems that these changes weren’t enough to change the course of the game – Valve ceased the development of the game and released its beta version for everyone for free.
From now on, Steam Library features two Artifact versions – the old one called Artifact Classic and the new one titled Artifact Foundry. Players (if there’s still some left) no longer need to spend money on either game since all of its contents are now free.
The Artifact team also released a statement commenting on the decision to halt the development:
“It’s now been about a year and a half since the current Artifact team began work on a reboot in earnest. While we’re reasonably satisfied we accomplished most of our game-side goals, we haven’t managed to get the active player numbers to a level that justifies further development at this time. As such, we’ve made the tough decision to stop development on the Artifact 2.0 Beta.
However, we recognize that both versions of Artifact still have players and still have value to the community. For this reason, we’re opening both games up to make them available for free to everyone. Final releases of both Artifact Classic and Artifact 2.0 Beta (renamed Artifact Foundry) are now available. Technically Artifact Foundry remains an unfinished product, but most of what’s missing is polish and art – the core gameplay is all there. While both games will remain playable, we don’t plan to ship any further gameplay updates.”
Of course, this news might boost Artifact’s player numbers for a week or two but we shouldn’t expect it to draw in an insane amount of players just because it’s free now. The game is officially dead but it will stay in Steam’s Library as a reminder that even good games (trust us – Artifact was very good at its core) might fall short if the developers implement a crappy monetization model.