Artifact's Designer Richard Garfield lost his job at Valve
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In February, Valve fired 13 full-time employees and a number of outsourced ones. The statement said that "these are the costs of unsuccessful business decisions, but they will not entail any major changes in the internal work of the company."
Artifact Artibuff fan website contacted Richard Garfield, who worked as a contract designer at Valve, to find out if he had been abbreviated. Garfield confirmed these concerns, also reporting of termination of the agreement between Valve and Skaff Elias, former vice-president of Wizards of the Coast.
"We weren't surprised by the layoff considering how rocky the launch was," he wrote, "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. 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."
But he also thinks that all will be okay in the future:
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.
The number of players in Artifact is now significantly reduced compared with post-release indicators and it is still difficult to understand how Valve plans to take the game out of stagnation.