With Treephob “Xyclopz” Tiangtrong breaking NDA and leaking confidential information about Artifact, we learned a lot of stuff about Valve’s latest game, Artifact. But the biggest revelation was Xyclopz saying “I don't think there will be a beta.”
We’ve been expecting Valve to release the Beta version of Artifact for fans, at the International 8 for quite a while now. So when a prominent SEA Dota 2 community figure said that there will not be a Beta, many were understandably disappointed.
But, we’ve had two key developments today which indicate that Valve is cooking something special for Artifact’s release in The International 2018.
It appears that Jay Pinkerton is back at Valve, after previously signalling in June 2017 on Facebook that he left (which @ValveTime picked up on). His name now appears on Valve's people page. https://t.co/qJzhkEcufA— wickedplayer494 (@wickedplayer494) July 26, 2018
Not many know who Jay Pinkerton is and what he used to do for Valve. Jay Pinkerton is a humorist who created some of the most iconic Dota 2 comics in history, as well as co-writing arguably the best game ever, Portal 2 for Valve. He also worked on both Left 4 Dead games, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and the Team Fortress 2 comics.
The man is a legend amongst Valve fans, and his return right before TI8 indicates that he’ll be writing comics just in time for Artifact’s release. Any expansion of the Dotaverse lore is welcomed by the community, and hence he already has Dota fans eagerly awaiting his next comic.
When Reddit user /u/Nightrikka posted a thread requesting an update on the usual The International Down Low videos, SirActionSlacks posted a reply, thanking Dota 2 players for their support towards content creators and in the process dropping a massive hint.
While the whole passage is worth a read and is quite heartwarming, the biggest info from this post is this line, “Soon, what ive been working on for over 4 months is going to come, and every night I lay in bed and ask myself if the project was worth stepping away from shit. I think it will be and hope you do too when it drops soon.”
We must remember that the official Artifact twitter account just follows two people, SirActionSlacks and SUNSfan. So Slacks’ quote most likely indicates that he’s been working on Artifact and the fact that the project “Drops soon” indicates that Valve is most likely planning something special for TI8.
Of course, there's always the chance that SirActionSlacks might have been working on something entirely different, and there is a chance of us getting Bamboozled. But we believe/hope that Artifact Beta will release during the course of The International 8