Once upon a time, digital card games were the rage thanks to Blizzard’s Hearthstone success, building on the Warcraft tradition, but few have managed to replicate their magic formula. Even older brands in the real-world physical TCG / CCG industry like Magic The Gathering did not fare well and Mojang’s first entry into this market, Scrolls, was an even bigger failure. Unsurprisingly, Valve also tried her hand at this by designing Artifact around the Dota 2 MOBA but now it looks like the end is near for both the Classic and Foundry “2.0” versions.
Hearthstone brought the concept of “heroes” from the RTS and MOBA genres into the arcade game mechanic, but Artifact took it one step further. It also implemented arcade, tower, and even crawl ideas, making the game truly resemble the Skirmish of Dota 2, which was just played on digital cards. Although praised for its unique playing style, Valve admits that player numbers fell shortly after its launch in 2018.
That prompted Valve’s team to work on a reboot, informally called Artifact 2.0, last year. The developers said they were able to achieve their goals on the game side, but in the end, the dwindling numbers of players cannot justify continuing to work on the game. As such, it officially announces that development on Artifact 2.0, which is already in beta, will not continue, but fortunately, it will not be completely phased out either.
In what could be seen as a generous move, Valve is releasing Artifact 2.0 to the public for free, now officially known as Artifact Foundry. Everything in the game is free and there will be no economy to buy and sell cards, whether in-game or otherwise. In other words, Artifact Foundry is provided as it was during beta development.
Unfortunately, Advertising It also mentions the final version of the original game now called Artifact Classic. Valve closes Marketplace integration and players will no longer be able to purchase packs of cards. If it looks like the company is close to finishing Artifact, it probably is exactly what it is, and it will only be a matter of time before the servers shut down completely, officially ending the short life of the game.