Despite a serious attempt to revive Valve’s digital card game Artifact, the company is finally calling it quits.

Artifact is one of those stories in gaming that had the deck literally stacked against it. I remember when the announcement happened. Fans saw the DOTA logo to much elation but were immediately disappointed upon the reveal that it was a card game.

You can hear the disappointment. But really, it just made me disappointed in gamers.

When Artifact launched, it was to critical acclaim but consumer ambivalence. Despite many being impressed with the extra strategic options offered by Valve’s game, they just couldn’t get players.

This was partly because it launched with a really unfriendly looking business model. Players not only had to buy the game, but also card packs like a physical TCG. This felt like a high barrier to entry, especially with other games like Hearthstone just sitting there free for anyone to try.

Since the lacklustre launch, the company had been working to remedy its mistakes with Artifact Foundry to bring a larger player base to the game. Unfortunately, with its latest announcement the decision has been made that it’s just not worth the effort.

There is some silver lining in all of this. With this final update, the devs have made both versions of Artifact free to play.

The original Artifact will give players every card for free, and paid cards will turn into special collector versions those players can trade. Plus, those who paid for the game can still earn these kinds of cards, so they’re not completely shafted by the deal.

Foundry has a different approach, where players can earn cards as they play the game and nothing can be purchased. Foundry is technically an unfinished game. The developers state that the gameplay is sound but it lacks some polish and art, so you might find your mileage varies with this one. Still with no cost to entry, it’s no great loss to check it out.

While it’s always sad to see a game with such potential not quite reach its mark, perhaps this free offering will help spark more interest for future endeavours.

For those after a deeper community of enthusiastic fans to play against, Alice just wrote about how digital MTG brought her love for the game back with its latest release, Kaldheim. Or there's the big changes on the way over in Blizzard's Hearthstone with the new Core Set changes.

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