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Friday, June 1, 2012

Valve's Dota 2 Latest Major PC Game To Go Free-To-Play

If there’s any question that the future of PC gaming, and perhaps of all gaming (mobile has embraced it as well), is free-to-play. Valve Software, which is a leader in digital distribution with Steam, is making Dota 2 a free-to-play PC experience. This game joins Meteor Entertainment’s HAWKEN, a big E3 2012 game from Adhesive Games, in the growing free-to-play space targeting core gamers.
Valve, the developer behind Half-Life, Left 4 Dead and Portal, will generate revenue from Dota 2 through micro-transactions. Upon its opening, the Dota Store will offer items created by Valve and members of the community that may be used immediately and carried over after the public launch of the game. Early Access to the game is not required to purchase items before launch. However, gamers may get into the game now by purchasing the Dota 2 Early Access Bundle of items.
“The opening of the Dota Store is a big part of our final push to launch,” said IceFrog, design lead on Dota 2. “With support for the Steam Workshop, the majority of the items made available on day one were created and being sold by members of the community. By making the game Free to Play, we hope to give gamers the ability to decide how – and how much – they want to invest in the game.”
Targeted for full release on the PC later this year, Dota 2 promises to take the unique blend of online RTS and RPG action that has made Dota popular with tens of millions of gamers around the world.
On May 11, Blizzard Entertainment and Valve entered into a mutual agreement regarding concerns over Dota. Valve will continue to use Dota commercially, including Dota 2, while Blizzard will preserve noncommercial use of Dota for its community with regard to player-created maps for Warcraft III and StarCraft II.
“Both Blizzard and Valve recognize that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they’re looking forward to, so we’re happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that,” said Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design at Blizzard Entertainment. “As part of this agreement, we’regoing to be changing the name of Blizzard Dota to Blizzard All-Stars, which ultimately better reflects the design of our game. We look forward to going into more detail on that at a later date.”
“We’re pleased that we could come to an agreement with Blizzard without drawing things out in a way that would benefit no one,” said Gabe Newell, president and co-founder of Valve. “We both want to focus on the things our fans care about, creating and shipping great games for our communities.”
Later this summer, Valve will host the International Dota 2 Championships 2012 in Seattle, Washington.

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