The Dota 2-inspired digital card game did receive some plaudits for being complex, yet it also found itself on the end of some rather harsh criticism from players who have slammed the monetization and general pricing structure, among other things.
The game has unsurprisingly lost most of its player base, going from a peak of 60,000 players per day to a few hundred, and players have continued to lambast Valve, accusing the studio of ignoring player feedback.
On Friday, however, Valve finally addressed the matter, admitting that there are "deep-rooted issues" within the game that need sorting out.
"Obviously, things didn't turn out how we hoped," the publishing company said in a statement on the official Artifact website. "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."
Valve also revealed that they will not be updating Artifact until the bigger issues have been resolved, and they will key in on addressing those instead. It is expected that this will take some time, but they have promised to keep the fan base in the loop.
"Moving forward, we'll be heads-down focusing on addressing these larger issues instead of shipping updates," the statement continues. "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."