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.”