Valve abandons Artifact card game despite promised reboot

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Video games giant Valve has abandoned an attempt to rescue its Artifact game, after months of trying to fix its flaws.

The much-hyped digital card game was released in 2018 but received poor reviews, so Valve announced it would rework the entire game.

But on Thursday, the company said it had abandoned the project entirely.

Instead, the uncompleted work will be published for free to those interested to see how it turned out.

Valve said the "core gameplay" of its reworking had been completed, and it had rebranded the updated game as Artifact Foundry.

It has been made available for free on the Steam store alongside the original version, which has been renamed Artifact Classic.

But there will be no further updates for either version.

The company admitted the second version of the game "technically remains an unfinished product", but characterised the missing elements as "polish".

It is the latest in a string of video games to be abandoned, despite developers promising fans a major update.

Anthem, a huge investment from veteran game-maker Bioware, had promised gamers a complete rework after its troubled launch - but the plug was officially pulled on the project last month.

And Amazon's first major attempt at game publishing ended in disaster, when it "un-released" the shooter Crucible. It also promised major changes, before abandoning the game in October.

Valve is seen as a titan in the gaming industry. It rarely releases new games, but when it does they are usually very successful.

media captionWATCH: Marc Cieslak puts Half-Life: Alyx through its paces

The studio is best-known for games such as Counter-Strike and the Half-Life series, which recently got its first title in 13 years.

Reviews of Half-Life: Alyx said the virtual-reality title was revolutionary, and a sign of what VR could accomplish as a medium.

Valve's long gaps between new games is possible, in part, because the company owns and operates the Steam digital games marketplace.

Steam is the most popular PC gaming storefront worldwide, and is Valve's main source of revenue.

The company has also dabbled in PC hardware, from streaming devices to controllers, and has recently focused on its own-brand virtual reality headsets.

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