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Fan anticipation surrounding the first chance at getting hands-on experience with Valve’s forthcoming DOTA-based card game Artifact hit a snag over the weekend. Players in possession of beta keys for the game were informed via email that Valve has had the Artifact beta delayed until late November.
The email, which numerous beta key holders have shared on Reddit, informs those in possession of said beta key that Valve has “a bit more work to do before letting everyone in.” Valve tentatively rescheduled the beta’s launch for November 19, just nine days before Artifact’s release date. The developer subtly addressed the delay publicly as well, removing the beta launch date of “October” from the game’s official Twitter bio. The delay was also confirmed by veteran Valve play tester Wykrhm Reddy via Twitter.
Valve delaying the Artifact beta comes as no surprise. The developer and publisher has displayed an inability to work on anyone’s timetable but its own in the past, with everything from hot fixes to entire games consistently being delayed for varying amounts of time. These delays usually lead to improved products that helped Valve solidify its reputation as a superb development studio, but it doesn’t make them any less frustrating for players.
This delay is especially frustrating as the beta’s new late November release will give players with access little time to exercise their exclusive access. Any frustration could easily grow considering that attending Valve’s premier DOTA competition, The International, was required to receive a beta key.
Some players are already speculating that Artifact’s official release will now be delayed to 2019, though Valve has not wavered on the game’s announced November 28 release date. Fans might be smart to reserve doubt following the weekend’s developments, but a Valve delay usually rewards the patient with a more polished product when that release date finally arrives.