Valve parts ways with Artifact creator Richard Garfield in round of layoffs

    
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laugh, then laugh again

Forget for one moment the horrific bleeding of Artifact’s playerbase — now the digital card game has lost its most high-profile designer.

We are just now discovering that Magic: The Gathering’s Richard Garfield was among the dozen or so employees that Valve terminated this past February in the well-publicized round of layoffs at the Steam company. In addition to the loss of Garfield, his fellow Wizards of the Coast designer Skaff Elias also got a pink slip.

Garfield said that the contract termination “made sense:” “We weren’t surprised by the layoff considering how rocky the launch was, the team was enthusiastic about the game and were confident that they had a good product but it became clear it wasn’t going to be easy to get the game to where we wanted it.”

Artifact hasn’t been performing that well, to put it kindly. The digital card game has dropped from a daily average of 11,000 players in December to around 573 right now. Valve hasn’t posted any updates or talked about the game since late January.

Source: GamesIndusty.biz. Cheers, Armsbend!
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PurpleCopper
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PurpleCopper

I’m not really a card game aficionado, but is Garfield STILL an amazing card game designer? I mean, Magic was a LONG time ago, does he still have the touch? Or was Valve/Garfield banking Artifact’s success on Garfield’s name? Because the Artifact is a terrible stain on Garfield’s legacy.

I’m not saying Garfield is now a bad designer, I mean I fucking loved the King of Tokyo boardgame he made back in 2011, but then again… that was 8 years ago.

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

He still contributes to Magic sets from time to time, like the recent Return to Dominaria.

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Armsbend

I don’t think the problem was with the game but Valve typical dirt bag approach to monetization.

-Our lolHD game is so great we are going to charge you for it when literally no one else is.
-The streamers we paid to look at it quit playing it the second the checks stopped
– The artwork is pedestrian at best – that’s being generous.
– it is convoluted and not fun to watch or follow. You notice with almost every card game ever made since Rome up to Hearthstone that some people enjoy watching others play. Not so with Artifact.
– anyone with half a mind understands that Valve wants to lead people to selling cards in their auction system. Essentially selling them twice. Once in the individual card packs and once again on their 30% cut on the AH. That is what Valve is now – how can we get our customers to spend more on stuff they don’t want or need?

tl;dr Valve are scumbags. It’s not really up for debate any more. We don’t have to continue to worship at their feet because they “saved pc gaming with steam”. Thanks for that, but it’s over. Put up or shut up yo.

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Bruno Brito

“saved pc gaming with steam”

To be fair, i think they doomed it, but no one could see it at that time.

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Bruno Brito

“We weren’t surprised by the layoff considering how rocky the launch was, the team was enthusiastic about the game and were confident that they had a good product but it became clear it wasn’t going to be easy to get the game to where we wanted it.”

Translation: “We were called to make a decent card game, and management kept shoving us with useless crap. Since we’re paid to do what they’re telling us, we did, it became a mess, and we all knew we were fucked the minute we learned about how this game would be monetized, specially considering Valve’s track record with the games they launch.

Since i still wanna work in this industry, i won’t tell them to eat shit and die for not listening to our expertise since we were the ones who actually knew something worth a damn about games.”

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Danny Smith

The internet: Wow, Fallout 76 and Anthem are such trainwrecks, easily the biggest failures of the year right?

Gaben: Uhhh, no.

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Fervor Bliss

I never hear young people talk about MySpace or Valve, Game developers should take note. There is one thing that stays the same about the internet.
THE INTERNET IS ALWAYS CHANGING.

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Devin B

A big reason for Hearthstone’s success is how enjoyable it was to watch. Simple but entertaining. Was always near the top on Twitch, brought a lot of eyes to it. Artifact is so boring to watch, it never gained traction that way.

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

You need people actually playing your game first before others can start watching it.

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Armsbend

The best thing for Valve at this point is for them to be knocked down a peg or four. That is happening right now let’s see what they do with their newfound notoriety.

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Bruno Brito

Five. Valve right now is just a garbage reseller.

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Max Sand

Did they also fire whoever designed the monetization method in that game because…….that’s why I didn’t buy it, certainly not because of game design.

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

The vast majority of people that did buy it quit anyway. I think that was far from the only issue.

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PanagiotisLial1
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Armsbend

I hate Mondays?

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PanagiotisLial1

Thats R. Garfield going for a job interview after his contract was terminated :p

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Armsbend

lol, I thought since today was monday and you didn’t like the mood of the article you were pulling a ‘i hate mondays’ and walking away mad!

But yours is awesome well done!