Today, via Steam, Dota 2 developer Steam announced that they will be ceasing development on all versions of Artifact, a card game based in the Dota 2 universe.
There are currently two playable versions of Artifact: Classic and Foundry. Classic was the original version of the game, and Foundry was a work-in-progress reboot of Classic taking into account player and developer feedback.
However, while Valve has been working to reboot Artifact since Classic launched in 2018, a rapidly dwindling player base has essentially made development a fruitless endeavor.
Here’s what Valve had to say:
Artifact, the Dota 2 card game, shipped in November of 2018. 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.
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.
However, we recognize that both versions of Artifact still have players and still have value to the community. For this reason, we’re opening both games up to make them available for free to everyone. Final releases of both Artifact Classic and Artifact 2.0 Beta (renamed Artifact Foundry) are now available. Technically Artifact Foundry remains an unfinished product, but most of what’s missing is polish and art – the core gameplay is all there. While both games will remain playable, we don’t plan to ship any further gameplay updates.
As noted by Valve in the statement above, Artifact isn’t being completely shut down. You can still play both versions of Artifact.
In fact, they will both be completely free-to-play from now on. In Classic, all players will get access to every card for free, while in Foundry all cards will be obtainable through playing the game.
If you ever wanted to give it a try, now is the time I guess. Otherwise, enjoy retirement Artifact.