Richard Garfield, largely known as the creator of the prolific card game Magic: The Gathering, is no longer working with Valve on the company’s own digital TCG Artifact.
This comes from an email sent to the Artifact fan site Artibuff in which Garfield notes that his company, 3 Donkeys, had its contract with Valve terminated not long ago.
Though Valve itself hasn’t offered many details on the matter, the inquiry came after last week’s news that the company had laid off 13 staff members and ended some of its contractor agreements last month. There’s been some speculation on which departments were affected by those cuts, but, outside of Garfield’s confirmation that 3 Donkeys’ contract was hit, nothing official has been said on that topic.
Valve noted in its statement last week the layoffs don’t “represent any major changes at the company,” but Garfield’s departure has fans of the game concerned about the future of Artifact. In his email, Garfield himself notes that the launch of the game was “rocky,” but says that he and fellow 3 Donkeys dev Skaff Elias are hopeful about the project’s 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,” reads Garfield's email. “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.”