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.