Last November, Valve released the digital card game that is Artifact. Rather than expected positive results with the depth and complexity of the game, though, Artifact hit a wall with the pricing structure and game economy which resulted in highly upset fans.
With negative Steam reviews and accusations of game abandonment and player neglect to Valve, the player base has dropped. From a peak of some 60,000 concurrent players, the rate has dropped to a few hundred per day.
Valve released an official statement on the game's website and Steam page addressing the issue. They said, "Artifact represents the largest discrepancy between our expectations for how one of our games would be received and the actual outcome." What's more, they do not think players have misunderstood the game nor that they are playing wrong, but rather showed that the game needed improvement.
As of Friday, the company has announced a pause on the shipping updates for Artifact to instead focus on the game’s larger issues.
Since the release of the game, the company has stated that 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.” With that said, there will be a re-examination of the decisions made on the game design, the economy, the social experience of playing, and more.