Artifact Expansions Were Being Developed by Valve Before Rework
Magic: The Gathering Creator and Artifact Lead Designer Richard Garfield confirmed that Valve was working on expansions for their failed card game.
DOTA-inspired card game Artifact stands as one of Valve’s biggest failures in recent memory. Due to a multitude of community and game-related issues, it failed to maintain the audience of 60,000 that played the game on day one and now can only barely hold above 100 concurrent players. Because of this, Valve is currently trying “to re-examine the decisions we’ve made along the way regarding game design, the economy, the social experience of playing, and more.” This means we have not heard much about or received new content for Artifact recently. That being said, a recent interview Magic: The Gathering creator and Artifact Lead Design Richard Garfield had with Game Informer on their podcast revealed entire expansions were being developed.
In Valve’s post discussing the ongoing rework of Artifact, they did mention that it caused them to move away from their “normal strategy of shipping a series of updates driven by the dialogue community members were having with each other and with us,” but they never elaborated beyond that. Still, when asked by Game Informer was if Valve was working on Artifact expansions when he was still working on the game, Garfield bluntly stated that “there were expansions being worked on before I left.”
Expansions are incredibly common in popular card games; for example, Hearthstone recently received its twelfth expansion titled Saviors of Uldum. While the fact that Valve was working on Artifact expansions isn’t super suprising, it does make you think about where Artifact could’ve gone had it been successful. Richard Garfield thinks Artifact ultimately failed to take off because of “community relationship issues,” but he does have “this idealistic hope that it will find its audience eventually.” Who knows, maybe even one day some of the ideas from the expansion he was working on can be revived if Valve’s rework of the game is successful.
You can see Richard Garfield’s full discussion regarding Artifact with Game Informer below. While we are waiting for Valve to reinvigorate the game, it is still available on Steam.