Artifact updates on hold as Valve goes back to the drawing board

Artifact updates on hold as Valve goes back to the drawing board

Valve is putting future Artifact content on hold as it reconsiders some fundamentals of the Dota card game’s design.

With a release described by its own creator as “rocky”, things haven’t panned out for Valve’s latest launch. It’s been rough enough that Valve has now decided to press pause on plans for new content until it can fix what went wrong.

In a blog post titled Towards A Better Artifact, Valve explained that it is putting efforts into salvaging Artifact.

“When we launched Artifact, we expected it would be the beginning of a long journey, that it would lay the foundation for years to come,” the company said.

“Our plan was to immediately dive into our normal strategy of shipping a series of updates driven by the dialogue community members were having with each other and with us.

“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. But we don't think that players misunderstand our game, or that they're playing it wrong.

“Artifact now represents an opportunity for us to improve our craft and use that knowledge to build better games.”

When Artifact launched last November, things appeared promising. This was Valve’s first brand-new video game in years, and players quickly racked up the hours within the game’s opening day.

But due to an overly complex monetisation system, among other problems, Artifact quickly began haemorrhaging players. Steam Charts reports that the game peaked as a meagre 810 concurrent players in the last 30 days.

Valve hopes that by re-shuffling the deck, it can pull out a good hand and bring Artifact in line with its lineup of chart-topping multiplayer games.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.