Artifact had a pretty rough launch when it came out back in November, since losing 90% of its players in two months and struggling to keep its player count above 1,000, and now we've found out that contractors working on the game have been laid off from Valve.
In an Artibuff report on the layoffs at Valve, we get a statement from Dr. Richard Garfield, working as a contractor for Valve as part of his company Three Donkeys. Here we find out that Garfield and fellow Three Donkeys worker Skaff Elias have gone from Valve.
"We weren't surprised by the layoff considering how rocky the launch was, the team was enthusiastic about the game and were confident that they had a good product but it became clear it wasn't going to be easy to get the game to where we wanted it. The layoff makes sense for a number of reasons," the statement reads. "To name a couple; now that the game is out there time is more critical, so more voices within the team that you have to navigate may not be as good as making less considered decisions faster. Another - the expertise that 3 donkeys brought is less critical after listening to us for 4+ years."
"Both Skaff and I remain optimistic about the quality of the game and have offered our feedback and advice in an ongoing gratis capacity simply because we would like to see the game do as well as we think it can. We enjoyed working with Valve and I was impressed with their relentless focus on the quality of the game and experience being offered to the player."
Garfield is the creator of Magic: The Gathering, and so his dismissal from the project raises concerns about the future of Artifact given its poor launch (check out our review to hear what we thought) and player numbers.
UploadVR also received a statement about the 13 layoffs, which said:
"Last month, 13 full-time employees were let go, and a portion of our contractor agreements were terminated. It's an unfortunate part of business, but does not represent any major changes at the company. We thank those affected for their contribution and wish them well in future endeavors."
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