Valve plans a wholesale reboot for its digital CCG Artifact

    
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Valve plans a wholesale reboot for its digital CCG Artifact

Like the Black Knight of Monty Python and the Holy Grail fame, Valve’s Artifact is not ready to give up the fight despite its grievous injuries. An interview with Valve boss Gabe Newell confirms that the digital CCG is undergoing a reboot that’s so comprehensive, the dev team is referring to it internally as Artifact 2.

In the interview, Newell expresses his surprise at Artifact’s reception, but also states the developers are committed to learning from the mistake. “We ran an experiment, we got a negative result, and now we need to see if we’ve learned anything from that, so let’s try again,” he says. “Based on the reaction to it, what was wrong with the product? How did we get there? Let’s fix those things and take another run at it.”

Nothing in the interview provides any specific details on just what this reboot will entail, so anything from a jiggering of its mechanics to an outright replacement of everything but its name seems to be fair game at this point. Whatever it involves, Newell stresses that this reboot has to be large enough “in order to justify its existence to customers and to markets.”

Readers will recall that Artifact was, indeed, a spectacular failure in the digital CCG world. It released this past November and was already leaving a wake of bad decisions behind it leading up to launch, with confirmation that the game would feature no moderation and no unlockable cards (though that decision was later reversed). In spite of this adjustment, the game would hemorrhage players through the rest of the year, and would later go through a round of layoffs which included the game’s creator Richard Garfield.

Since then, Artifact has fallen largely silent up until earlier this month, when it did state that it was looking into the game’s deep-rooted issues. Which, apparently, are so deep-rooted that the whole game needs to be rebuilt.

source: GamesRadar via Polygon

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Annoyed badger

I hope he informed all 3 remaining players (all alts of siractionslacks) of this.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
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The Weeb formerly known as Sray

It’s time for gamers to stop giving second chances to half baked live service games. These games get crapped out the door in grossly unpolished states because we’ve repeatedly shown game publishers that we’re stupid enough to pay $60 today for a half way decent game 2 years from now. Dump out a rushed, unenjoyable product today; put out a couple tweets, forum posts, and a roadmap a month later; then finish the game a year or so later so that it’s in the state it should have been at launch. And the players all come rushing back telling us how good it is now.

Enough is enough. It doesn’t matter that studio X made game Y that you really enjoyed five or six years ago: that sentimentality is precisely why this keeps happening. If a failed game launch takes down your favorite studio with it, that’s too bad; but it is what is supposed to happen in a free market. Stop giving second chances to these games and let the market do what it is supposed to do to them: crush them and toss them into the garbage bin. That is the only way publishers will stop cranking out unfinished live service games with the intent of maybe fixing them sometime after they get your money.

BTW, there is absolutely a difference between having a few server issues or a couple big bugs at launch, and launching an unfinished, deeply flawed product. I’m not talking about an anticipated MMO having server issues for its first week or two: I’m talking about unfinished junk like Anthem, Fallout 76, and/or Artifact.

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Ozzie

Dude, Artifact wasn’t really half-baked or unfinished or rushed. It just wasn’t good. The business model was bad. The RNG was bad, and many other things. But the production value was high and it was fairly complete, considering. They did add a substantial update shortly after release, but that was more of a way of reacting to the bad reception of the bad product.

I get your sentiment but Artifact was just a poorly designed game, not really many of the other adjectives. While I don’t think that necessarily warrants a second chance, that’s still a pretty big difference.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
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The Weeb formerly known as Sray

Everything that you’ve said there is a less harsh way of stating everything I did.

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Emiliano Lozada

And miss out on No Man’s Sky, R6: Siege, FF14, ESO, Battlefront 2, Destiny, Halo: MCC, Assassin’s Creed: Origins/Odyssey, CS:GO, and BF4?

No, thank you.

The Weeb formerly known as Sray
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The Weeb formerly known as Sray

That type of thinking is precisely why this keeps happening.

Look at that list of games. It dates back over a decade. The fact that we’ve been letting publishers do this for over a decade should make you stop and think about what continuously giving second chances has done.

For over ten years publishers have pushed unready games out the door because we’ve given them second chance after second chance. You’re not wrong, if players said “no, give us something decent at launch” we might not have gotten those games as there are now. But that’s a “might”: we’ll never know for sure. But what we do know is that if we stopped running back to games that were overhyped and underdelivered at launch and just let them die, publishers would’ve stopped doing that already, and we wouldn’t have gotten all the frustration and anger of repeatedly paying for games that were pushed out for a fast buck.

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Emiliano Lozada

Except all it does is affect the developers who poured their time and soul into the product. Bobby Kotick and Andrew Wilson are still going to get their millions regardless if you boycott or not. They will just take the losses of the reputation, shut down the company (Remember Andromeda?), and just reap the rewards for themselves.

Though on the flip side, games that come out great at launch should be held up and promoted such as Dad of Son and Spider-Man for example. Companies change, people come and go. We have seen Microsoft going from anti-consumer with the Steve Ballmer + Don Mattrick Era to being pro-consumer, pro-Linux, and pro-PC with Satya Nadella and Phil Spencer. I for one will support companies changing and fixing their shit, we have had gems come out of realizing the original goal with added funding instead of just letting it rot out and die which would be the alternative.

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psytic

I dont see anything wrong with letting a game crash and burn then buying it after if its good. I dont buy anything any more without a sale and review from some trusted youtubers so its no skin of my back.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

While I do agree with the sentiment, fans supporting their favorite devs is also the free market working. Free market is not more an intelectual system than an emotional one. Every aspect of a product weights in favor or against a consumer decision to buy a product, and being made by some specific company is a valid one, as much as overall quality or even the marketing campaign being appealing or repulsive for someone.

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Ironwu

They must see Artifact as a real money tree to continue trying to break into a market already dominated by other major players. Especially after having failed so spectacularly out of the gate.

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Armsbend

Nothing wrong with a re-work. hell, they have the time I bet.

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Dug From The Earth

Valve, “Hey loyal fans… where should we focus our game development work?”

Fans, “Half-Life 3!!!

Valve, “Its ok if you arent certain, take your time and think it through. When you have a clear answer, let us know.”

Fans, “HALF….. LIFE…… THREE!!!!!”

Valve, “Well, until people can come to an agreement and a unanimous decision across the industry, we will just focus our work on a game we know EVERYONE wants…. Artifact!”

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Armsbend

I think at this point, anything Valve made for HL3 would be a dissappointment.

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Eamil

It would be less disappointing than ending the last game on a cliffhanger more than ten years ago.

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Armsbend

Maybe. I just don’t see them putting in a lot of effort on something that big anymore. The last big game they made was 2012. I just don’t think they know how – or want to work hard any more.

oldandgrumpy
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oldandgrumpy

It does seem like they burnt the whole studio out doesn’t it. Easier to just take the steam money and fluff about.

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Armsbend

It isn’t just them it is all game developers – not including indies. Nintendo is the only developer who is willing to put in the effort. Maybe a small handful more like Rockstar and CD Projekt.

I believe they are being rewarded for it.

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Rodrigo Dias Costa

It will be. Yet, would not be the kind of failure Artifact was. Not making the game everyone wants and instead expand another IP is not a bad move per se, but doing this while completely ignoring everything else (player interest, available market, current competition) was the worst they could do.

The sad thing is, the actual gameplay looks interesting, but every other decision they made was awful, from announcement to business model to release, and that sunk the title.