Artifact artwork for Oracle

Even though Valve managed to get a rather sizable chunk of players to dive into their card game Artifact, things turned sour very quickly. Due to a combination of balance problems and an overly restrictive in-game economy, players quickly found themselves running out of options, and soon enough out the door as well.

Month after month Artifact's player numbers crumbled, until finally Valve announced that they will be halting all future updates and reworking Artifact from the ground up. Quite a lot of time and patches have gone by since then, but I'm afraid Artifact 2.0 has run into exactly the same problem as the original - there is just not enough interested players to warrant further development. As such, Valve has now officially stopped working on both Artifact and the Artifact 2.0 Beta.

"However, we recognize that both versions of Artifact still have players and still have value to the community," reads the brief update. "For this reason, we're opening both games up to make them available for free to everyone."

"Technically Artifact Foundry remains an unfinished product, but most of what's missing is polish and art - the core gameplay is all there. Final releases of both Artifact Classic and Artifact 2.0 Beta (renamed Artifact Foundry) are now available. While both games will remain playable, we don’t plan to ship any further gameplay updates."

So if you ever wanted to give Artifact a try, this would be the very best time to do so. Valve's announcement has brought in a slue of new and veteran players wishing to give both versions another try, so regardless of your skill level, you should be able to find a match fairly quickly. This resurgence likely won't last all that long as both games still have some noticeable problems, but I'd say it's definitely worth giving them a try, if no other reason than to see what all the fuss is about.

You can read more about Artifact's future, as well as dive into either game, over at Steam. Have fun!