Valve plans to address "larger issues instead of shipping updates" for Artifact

scropleybySteven CropleyMar 30, 2019

Photo: Valve / Artifact

Valve’s Artifact team has issued a statement regarding the current state of the game and their future plans. Artifact released to much anticipation, however, it fell and it fell quickly. Since it’s initial positive release, the game has reached an extremely diminished player base which has left the development team scrambling for answers.

In the post, Valve recognizes that while they had the right intentions, the game is not where they’d hoped.

Obviously, things didn’t turn out how we hoped. Artifact represents the largest discrepancy between our expectations for how one of our games would be received and the actual outcome. But we don’t think that players misunderstand our game, or that they’re playing it wrong,” they explained.

They aren’t calling it quits though. Instead the team believes that “Artifact now represents an opportunity for us to improve our craft and use that knowledge to build better games.”

Initially the plan was to simply release updates that would include new features, cards, etc. but these were merely band-aids for a much deeper sicker. Moving away from the previous approach, the team will now “take larger steps, to re-examine the decisions we’ve made along the way regarding game design, the economy, the social experience of playing, and more.”

In a more direct approach, Artifact’s development team will “be heads-down focusing on addressing these larger issues instead of shipping updates.” Furthermore, they said this won’t be a quick process and it sounds like they will almost be going for a re-release approach with the language used.

You can read the full post here or below:

When we launched Artifact, we expected it would be the beginning of a long journey, that it would lay the foundation for years to come. Our plan was to immediately dive into our normal strategy of shipping a series of updates driven by the dialogue community members were having with each other and with us.

Obviously, things didn’t turn out how we hoped. Artifact represents the largest discrepancy between our expectations for how one of our games would be received and the actual outcome. But we don’t think that players misunderstand our game, or that they’re playing it wrong. Artifact now represents an opportunity for us to improve our craft and use that knowledge to build better games.

Since launch, we’ve been looking carefully at how players interact with the game as well as gathering feedback. It has become clear that there are deep-rooted issues with the game and that our original update strategy of releasing new features and cards would be insufficient to address them. Instead, we believe the correct course of action is to take larger steps, to re-examine the decisions we’ve made along the way regarding game design, the economy, the social experience of playing, and more.

So what does this mean?

Moving forward, we’ll be heads-down focusing on addressing these larger issues instead of shipping updates. While we expect this process of experimentation and development to take a significant amount of time, we’re excited to tackle this challenge and will get back to you as soon as we are ready.

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