"A lot of you recognized the potential for telling stories about the DOTA world through Artifact and loved what we'd already done through comics and flavor text," Valve said in a Steam blog post. "We are doubling down on that effort through a single-player campaign which will both teach new players the game and continue the story that began with A Call To Arms. Tying into our progressions systems, we want people to feel rewarded no matter which way they choose to play the game, whether it be in competitive play or the campaign."
Valve's initial vision for Artifact was to tell an evolving story through expansions that would accumulate characterization and lore. Where most card games just give expansions modular themes that don't build into an overarching story, Artifact would leverage the depth of Dota world-building at its disposal and use it to craft stories that could even feed back into Dota 2 itself. Of course, given the game's launch woes, Valve had so many fires to put out that those efforts never really got off the ground.
Still, it's interesting to hear that Valve hasn't abandoned Artifact as a storytelling platform, and is even planning to "double down" on the opportunity to tell stories. Even if the Artifact 2.0 isn't a work of fiction so spellbinding you can scarcely put it down, it may at least add some spice to the game. It could also open the game up to more PvE-minded game modes like the Adventures in Hearthstone or deck builders like Slay the Spire. If nothing else, Artifact 2.0 is definitely shaping up to be something to see.
Gabe Newell says Artifact has been rebooted so dramatically that the new game is internally referred to as a sequel.