Artifact Shows Signs Of Trouble As Designer Is Laid Off

Artifact Valve

Valve's digital collectible card game Artifact faces more trouble as designer Richard Garfield has been laid off as part of downsizing measures.

Fans of collectible card games are likely familiar with Garfield, as he is the same person who designed Magic: The Gathering. It was through his directon that Wizards of the Coast was able to set up a strong tournament system for MTG. In addition to Artifact and Magic, Garfield also has designed a number of other games, including Battle Tech (CCG), Star Wars Trading Card Game, and Vampire: The Eternal Struggle.

According to Artibuff, Garfield, through his company Three Donkeys, was working with Valve on a contract basis. In a statement given to Artibuff, Garfield said he was not surprised with the move given what happened with the launch of Artifact. He added that while the team knew they had a good product and were passionate about the game, it was going in a different direction that what they wanted. Garfield said further that a smaller team handling Artifact would be the better option, and that Valve had already gotten what it wanted from the team.

Released in November 2018, Artifact is a digital collectible card game based on Valve's highly successful Dota 2. One feature of the game is it allows players to buy and sell cards on the Steam Marketplace. The game was seen as a possible competitor to others in the genre like Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering Arena.

However, unlike other games, Artifact is not free play. Players need to pay $20 in order to get the game and have to buy additional card packs. At the time of its launch, there was no way for players to obtain decks or earn cards for free. The idea was that players could sell cards on the marketplace in order to buy more cards. For many players, this was seen as a pay-to-win system, and many did not like the monetization model. While Valve tried to revamp this system a month later, it would appear to be too little, too late.

In the first week of release , the number of Artifact players dropped by 60 percent. Reports are saying that presently, Artifact is struggling to host even 1,000 concurrent players per day.

With this news, there is the possibility that the planned Artifact tournament could be delayed or even cancelled. Players are saying that the game is dead but it will be Valve who will make the final decision on Artifact's future.

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