Former Artifact Designer Says Expansions Were in the Works Prior to His Departure

Former Artifact Designer Says Expansions Were in the Works Prior to His Departure

He hopes the maligned card game can still find an audience.

Valve's Dota card game Artifact was largely a misfire, as the community and population has all but evaporated. But in a new interview, one of the former devs says he's still hopeful, and says that even more Artifact was in the plans prior to everything going downhill.

In an interview with Game Informer, Magic: The Gathering creator and former Artifact designer Richard Garfield says there were "expansions" for Artifact being worked on before he left. He also references discussion of alternative structures for the in-game card economy, including making all common-rarity cards free to players. But ultimately, he cites community issues as one of the big reasons for Artifact's downfall.

"I do wish we could've figured out a way to manage our relationship with the fans better, because in the end, I think [Artifact] was a very good game, but not necessarily for everybody," Garfield says.

Valve's original model for Artifact mirrored real-world card games like Magic: The Gathering, where the primary outlet for new cards was through buying packs. But on digital platforms and in a post-Hearthstone world, that structure didn't go over well with players who might've been expecting a more free-to-play model. Garfield has cited these issues in interviews before now, saying the revenue model is "more generous than Magic."

But when the biggest news about Artifact in recent memory was its Twitch category becoming a repository for porn and shock videos, it's hard to see a silver lining. As Artifact is still ostensibly in recovery mode, fellow Dota spinoff Dota Underlords is finding success where Artifact didn't-albeit still competing with fellow MOBA franchise League of Legends through Teamfight Tactics.

Artifact may yet one day resurface, with some changes to its structure and a new appeal to fans. One of its former designers seems optimistic; "I have this sort of idealistic hope that it'll find its audience eventually," Garfield says. "But I also know that there's a lot of games I love that never did succeed, and so that might not be the case."

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Eric Van Allen

News Editor

Eric is a writer and Texan. He's a former contributor to sites including Compete, Polygon, Waypoint, and the Washington Post. He loves competitive games, live music, and travel.

In other news

A New Halo Teaser Indicates Infinite Might Have Ties to Halo Wars 2

Could the events of Halo Wars 2 connect up with what we'll see in Infinite?

Evil Genius 2 Shows Off Some Gameplay

Now we know that Evil Genius 2 will play... just like Evil Genius.

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim Finally Comes to North America This September

Vanillaware's latest game is hopping in a mech and stomping to North America.

EA Begins Rolling Out Titles on Steam, but There Are Some Notable Absences

Also, EA Access via Steam isn't ready just yet.

You may also like

Axe of the Blood God: A Closer Look at CrossCode Now That It's on Console

Kat, Nadia, and Hirun talk CrossCode, Paper Mario: The Origami King review impressions, and more.

Ubisoft Forward 2020 Recap: Far Cry 6 Announced Alongside a Host of New Trailers

Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs: Legion get release dates, and more from today's Ubisoft Forward.

Far Cry 6 Officially Revealed Alongside Cross-Gen Details and the First Trailer

We got to see a bit of Anton and Diego's relationship in the cinematic trailer.