Valve pledges to fix Artifact’s ‘deep-rooted issues’ in attempt to salvage the game

    
19

Things haven’t been going particularly great for Artifact. Valve’s digital card game, which launched in November of last year, has been rapidly hemorrhaging players in the months since its release, and the devs have been largely silent on the matter, even in the wake of the news that Magic: The Gathering designer Richard Garfield was among the Valve employees terminated last February. Now, however, the devs have broken their long silence in a new blog post in which they promise that they are taking action to fix the game’s “deep-rooted issues” in an attempt to rekindle interest in the title.

Artifact programmer Jeep Barnett writes on the game’s launch, “Obviously, things didn’t turn out how we hoped. Artifact represents the largest discrepancy between our expectations for how one of our games would be received and the actual outcome.” That should come as no surprise, considering that no development studio tends to expect its game to bleed players like its jugular has been cut, but the devs seem committed to trying to salvage the title. In light of the fact that the studio’s “original strategy of releasing new features and cards would be insufficient to address” the “deep-rooted issues with the game,” the devs are instead looking “to take larger steps, to re-examine the decisions [they’ve] made along the way regarding game design, the economy, the social experience of playing, and more.”

As the game moves ahead, the developers will be “heads-down focusing on addressing these larger issues instead of shipping updates.” Although they anticipate that the process of rectifying the issues that they’ve identified will take “a significant amount of time,” they assure players that they’re “excited to tackle this challenge and will get back to you as soon as [they] are ready.”

Source: Steam via Kotaku. Thanks, Pepperzine!

19
LEAVE A COMMENT

Please Login to comment
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Pingly

Artifact was a game designed by accountants.

Valve’s obsession with monetizing items for marketplace profits is heartbreaking. They used to be something special.

Now Valve is just funneling in their 30% of every PC game ever sold into trying to design systems to get even more money from everyone.

It would be nice if they cleaned up Steam and made some more games that didn’t have lootboxes and trading cards.

In 2011 Valve was the most profitable company per employee in the US. I can only imagine how much money they are bringing in now with Steam running pretty much identically to back then but having the vast majority of PC game sales.

They need to take some time off of their yachts and get to work.

Reader
Sorenthaz

They make it sound like they somehow didn’t realize that the model didn’t even sound good on paper to begin with.

Reader
Annoyed badger

devs need to stop drinking the cool aid, and get out of their bubbles…..its clear artifact suffered a lot of the same issues as wildstar. An insular dev team who failed to get outside perspectives and just made the game their inner nerds wanted…..thats fine for a small indie game, thats encouraged even…but if you want a mass appeal popular game, you need to appeal to a lot of different people, not just committed nerds who geek out over stuff like you.

You need to make sure you dont just get your small team to give feedback, that becomes self reinforcing and leads you further and further down the path that takes you away from the mainstream. you also need to get new people in all along in a project, that way you have someone who can go “but, as someone who knows nothing about this, this makes no fucking sense…” if you just stick to people who have been onboard all along, you lack that perspective, of course you know how it works, you made it…you saw all the design choices, the evolution of every feature, you have already bought in…..

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

Here is some good news in Artifact. Garfield MUST make another game so this bomb isn’t his last one. No one would want to finish a career on this note – excepting Lord Cosmonaut Extraordinaire British.

Reader
h4

I thought this as well, but apparently Garfield is quite successful with the card game “KeyForge”. Even if its not a computer game, it counts as a recent success for him.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

I looked into that I didn’t know he was associated with it. It seemed a bit confusing to me. Like a gacha ball or something.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
JoeCreoterra

Garfield has never stopped making games and has 20-25+ released. Sure his most popular game was magic, but his absolute work of art was Netrunner.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

I’m kind of coming back to true card games after Magic Arena – even considering going back to play some casual Friday Night Magic close by. So all of these suggestions sincerely interest me!

Except Artifact. That one doesn’t.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
JoeCreoterra

Unfortunately Android: Netrunner just hit end of life at the end of last year (Wizards wouldn’t renew the license to FFG)… was such an incredible game that was purely asymmetric having hackers vs evil corps :) We still play it a lot at the studio because both the design and setting are awesome.

PurpleCopper
Reader
PurpleCopper

I haven’t seen a failure of a Valve game since Ricochet. But at least Valve is admitting they fucked up. But man, even in hindsight Artifact was very flawed from the beginning.

– Way too many cards have special rules
– Too complicated with all the different phases
– Matches are too long and can easily hit 40 minutes
– RNG as fuck

I find it hilarious that Dota Auto Chess is much more popular than Artifact AND has a Valve sponsored tournament AND a rumored Valve acquisition.

Also, card prices have plummeted. At launch, a full collection would cost you $336. Now it only costs you the price of a AAA game, $60.

https://www.howmuchdoesartifactcost.com/

Reader
cursedseishi

That’s also ignoring how, originally, the only way to earn cards was to pay for them too. That got trashed all to heck and was changed before release if I’m remembering right.

I’d be curious to see how much of the game was Garfield’s doing and how much of it was Valve wanting it to “stick” to DotA’s style of gameplay via all of the laning and everything. But that’s less a curiosity geared towards the game… and, well, honestly more towards my own interest in card games.

Reader
Max Sand

I love CCGs and was hype for this, right until the business model was announced. I am fine with experimenting with different pay structures, not everyone has to take the hearthstone path, but the idea I had to buy the game AND buy packs with actual money? I get Magic is like that IRL, but why then would I not just spend that money on Magic IRL? If they don’t fix the business model, the game is dead. Problem is, if they go F2P at this point, I wouldn’t blame anyone who did buy in for being furious.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
xanadox

I don’t think you buy anything, they rent some virtual goods to you; the property is always on their side. So the real value of it is very limited as you can’t do the things you could do if it was yours.

Reader
Max Sand

digital ownership is a whole different argument I don’t even feel is worth going down, especially on an MMO site where presumably everyone here has “rented” virtual goods on some game or other. My point is even as compared to other digital goods, the value proposition is terrible and I don’t think there is anything mechanically the game could do to overcome that for me.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
xanadox

/agree

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

Throw it away.

Reader
Vorender

I usually try any and all CCGs, but I skipped Artifact due to the pay model. Sounds like I wasn’t the only one.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
xanadox

I have hardly played any CCGs and I skipped Artifact due to the pay model too.
Pay to play and pay a lot to win.

Reader
h4

I’m also a card game enthusiast who passed due to the pay model. The online card game market is so swamped with F2Ps that asking cash initial buy-in and cash for additional packs is just questionable. While I guess Valve were hoping to position Artifact as a premium product worthy of this model, I think they underestimated the competition.