Valve founder and CEO Gabe Newell revealed that the studio is working on a “larger reboot” of digital card game Artifact, in an overhaul that is internally known as Artifact 2.
Artifact already disappointed fans when it was announced at The International 2017, as they were hoping for Half-Life 3. Before it was released in December 2018, the digital card game drew heavy criticism for its monetization model, forcing Valve to make adjustments before Artifact entered public beta.
Artifact, which mimics the mechanics of DOTA 2 and uses characters from the massively popular MOBA, was supposed to take on the likes of Blizzard’s Hearthstone. However, Valve finally paused updates for Artifact about a year ago in order to fix “deep-rooted issues,” as the studio conceded that it will take more than new features and cards to save the game.
Valve said then that fixing Artifact was expected to take “a significant amount of time.” A year later, the studio is still working on it.
“Artifact was an interesting failure in its first go-round,” Newell told Edge magazine. “We were surprised. We thought that it was a really strong product.”
According to Edge, the follow-up to Artifact is being referred to within Valve as Artifact 2, presumably due to the magnitude of the project. However, it remains unclear if the studio is working on a just a revamp of the digital card game, or a legitimate sequel that aims to fix everything that was wrong with the original.
Newell, meanwhile, stressed that Valve needs “to do a larger reboot in order to justify its existence to customers and to markets.”
There remains no timetable for the project that started a year ago, though Newell said that Valve was “getting ready to release” whatever Artifact‘s development team is working on. However, until the studio makes an official announcement, the remaining fans of the digital card game will just have to wait.
In the meantime, Valve is focused on Half-Life: Alyx, a VR-only entry in the popular franchise that comes free with every purchase of the Valve Index VR headset. If Half-Life: Alyx succeeds, there is a chance that Valve may finally start working on Half-Life 3.
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