Valve shelves Artifact, lets everyone play both versions for free

(Image credit: Valve)

After a rough launch and an attempted comeback, Valve is officially done with Artifact the Dota card game.

"While we're reasonably satisfied we accomplished most of our game-side goals, we haven't managed to get the active player numbers to a level that justifies further development at this time," the dev team said in a new blog post. "As such, we've made the tough decision to stop development on the Artifact 2.0 Beta."

To send Artifact off properly, Valve is splitting it into two fully playable, completely free games: Artifact Classic and Artifact Foundry. The former is the original version of the game, while the latter uses the in-progress beta build of Artifact 2.0 – an overhaul so dramatic that it was treated more like a sequel internally

Naturally, this will bring major changes to the in-game economies of both versions of Artifact. The short version is that card packs will no longer be for sale, and cards will no longer be tradeable on the Steam market. Instead, everyone gets every Artifact Classic card for free, and the entire Artifact Foundry card pool can now be obtained through in-game challenges. However, if you did purchase Artifact Classic back in the day, your cards will be converted into collector's edition versions which will still be tradeable on the marketplace. 

"We're grateful to all Artifact players, and particularly to those who were able to help us tune and refine what would become Artifact Foundry," the devs say. "The team feels this is the approach that best serves the community. We're proud of the work we've done on both games and excited about delivering them to a much larger audience of gamers."

Artifact is dead, but Valve is working on more games

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.