Valve halts development on 'Artifact,' makes it free for everyone

The company says the game hasn't attracted enough of an audience to justify more investment.


Valve is halting the development of its Dota 2-inspired digital card game. In a blog titled “The Future of Artifact,” the studio said the game’s 2.0 rework hasn’t attracted enough of an audience to justify further work and investment. But that’s not necessarily the end of the title. Valve has made both the Classic and 2.0 versions of Artifact, the latter now known as Artifact Foundry, into a game anyone can play for free, with no need to spend money on any cards. However, neither version will get any future updates.

Announced during Valve’s Dota 2 “The International” tournament in 2017, Artifact came out toward the end of 2018. And while Valve said initial sales were good, the game quickly hit a wall. One significant problem was that the company expected players to pay $20 to start playing the game and then spend additional money to purchase booster packs. People also found that Artifact was stingy at giving away free cards in a way that not even its free-to-play competitors tried to pull off. In 2019, Valve admitted Artifact had “deep-rooted” problems and started working on a reboot. It began inviting players to a closed beta last year. Now, after nearly a year-and-a-half of trying to fix the game, it’s moving onto other projects.