Over two years after its release, Valve has announced that it has stopped work on Artifact.
In a post on the title's Steam page, the firm said that it couldn't justify investing in further development because the game just hadn't managed to attract as many players as the company would like. According to SteamCharts, the original version of Artifact has had a peak of 753 concurrent players in the last 24 hours,
Both the Classic version of Artifact and the beta for the reworked version of the game – dubbed Artifact Foundry – have been made free-to-play.
"Despite good initial sales, our player count fell off pretty dramatically. This warranted a shift from the service/update development model we'd planned to a full reevaluation of the game's mechanics and economy," Valve wrote.
"It's now been about a year and a half since the current Artifact team began work on a reboot in earnest. While we're reasonably satisfied we accomplished most of our game-side goals, we haven't managed to get the active player numbers to a level that justifies further development at this time. As such, we've made the tough decision to stop development on the Artifact 2.0 Beta."
The firm continued: "We're grateful to all Artifact players, and particularly to those who were able to help us tune and refine what would become Artifact Foundry. The team feels this is the approach that best serves the community. We're proud of the work we've done on both games and excited about delivering them to a much larger audience of gamers."
Artifact launched in November 2018 and hit 55,000 concurrent players in its first day on sale. Within weeks of release, the title saw an 81 per cent dip in simultaneous users. One of the game's designers Richard Garfield described Artifact's launch as "rocky" but rejected accusations that the title was pay-to-win.
In March 2020, Valve said in a news post that Artifact was now "under construction" before saying that players could sign up to beta test a new version of the card game in May.