Valve cancel Artifact 2.0 reboot, make Artifact Classic and Artifact Foundry free-to-play

Valve has announced that they are ceasing development of Artifact 2.0, the sweeping redesign of the companies 2018 digital collectable card game. The game will now be made free-to-play, both with the original form of the game and the latest beta version of the redesign.

It’s not a good time for games beginning with the letter ‘A’, with Anthem NEXT, another high-profile game rework cancelled last month. Similar to that title, though for very different reasons, Valve saw Artifact underperform and forced them to take it back to the drawing board in 2019, looking to revise the game’s mechanics and economy – the unique factor for Artifact was that it tried to attach a real value to all cards and allow them to be traded – in order to better compete with genre juggernauts Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering: Arena.

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After around a year and a half’s effort being put into the Artifact 2.0 Beta, Valve has decided to call it a day. While content with the work put in, there simply hasn’t been a sign that the game can achieve a sustainable player base, and so development will now cease.

However, they’re not removing the game, but instead setting it free to head off into the sunset while people still want to play it or try it out. Both Artifact Classic and Artifact Foundry (the renamed version of Artifact 2.0 Beta) are now available and free to play. Artifact Foundry is largely complete in terms of gameplay, but Valve note it is missing polish and art.

You can download both versions of the game from the Artifact Steam page now.

Here’s a breakdown from Valve about what the differences between the two versions of the game.

The final updates for the two versions of the game do the following:

Artifact Classic final update

  • The game is free for everyone to play.
  • All players get every card for free. You will no longer be able to buy card packs.
  • Paid players’ existing cards have been converted into special Collector’s Edition versions, which will remain marketable. Marketplace integration has been removed from the game.
  • Paid event tickets have been removed.
  • Customers who paid for the game will still earn packs of Collector’s Edition cards for playing; players who got the game for free will not.

Artifact Foundry (2.0 beta) final update

  • The game is free for everyone to play.
  • Players gain access to cards by playing the game. All cards are earned this way; no cards or packs will be for sale and Artifact Foundry cards are not marketable.
  • All final card art that was in the pipeline is now in the game.

Source: Valve

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