Valve + DOTA = ???

By Alec Meer on October 6th, 2009 at 6:09 pm.

Hot news from PC-land today, gentletypes. Seems the ever-controversy-free Valve Software have a new project up their sleeves, and one that probably isn’t related to Deads or Teams or Halves. Probably. Turns out they’ve just hired the mysterious IceFrog, the chap who has been developing Defense of the Ancients Allstars for the last couple of years, the huge and influential (see: Demigod) Warcraft 3 mod. I’ve just had confirmation from Valve that his claim he’s off to lead one of their team on a secret new project is true. Goodness gracious me, whatever could it be?

Whatever else people might accuse Valve of, what they can’t say is that they’ve abandoned their long-running tendency to recruit talented modders to their ranks. It’s this strategy that led to TF2, Portal and Counter-Strike, so this is news to cheer about. Even though we don’t know anything about it.

Here’s FrostToad’s official memo about his new job:

I have some really awesome news I’d like to share with you guys. I am now leading a team at Valve! I finally have all the resources needed to do some very exciting stuff that you guys will love. I look forward to revealing more specific details when the time is right.

My goal and top priority in the future is to solve the surrounding issues that affect the DotA experience in order to allow it to reach new heights. Addressing these issues will enable us to further enjoy aspects of DotA such as the gameplay, mechanics, and in-game feel that currently work well and ought to be maintained. As I’ve said many times in the past and especially after today’s developments, I am very excited about DotA’s future!

Again, Valve’s Doug Lombardi gives the official nod to this news. “I can confirm it is true. And, as you’ve guessed, that is all I can say.” Boo. But still yay!

So, time to saddle up the Speculation Donkey. What could it be? Seems more than likely it’s strategy-related – is it standalone, Blizzard-free DOTA? A Team Fortress 2-themed RTS-RPG thing? Something entirely new? Spying an opportunity to do a professional DOTAlike after Demigod got itself into a spot of bother with the tech-fault plagued launch?

Fascinating and exciting stuff – most especially because it might just be Valve’s first major foray outside of FPS. It’s worth noting that IceFrog didn’t create DOTA-Allstars, but rather has been continuing its development since the original creator (it’s also worth nothing that DOTA Allstars is a modification of the original DOTA mod. Jeezum, this is confusing) stepped down. That chap, one Steve Feak, is now heading up Riot Games, a new team also currently engaged on a pro version of DOTA’s principles. That’s the upcoming League of Legends: Clash of The Fates, to be specific. As far as I can tell, IceFrog isn’t and wasn’t involved with that. But he is now a Valve employee, which is the important bit.

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104 Comments »

  1. PHeMoX says:

    “It’s this strategy that led to TF2, Portal and Counter-Strike, so this is news to cheer about. ”

    ..and that’s supposed to be a purely good thing????

    Come on now, some of those games could and should have been free. TF2 and Portal are still overpriced and somewhat overrated. I loved Portal, but it’s too freaking short and actually feels like a MOD!!

    Team Fortress 2, never quite got into that game as it felt unfinished and tiny in content. Even today it does, although it surely got better.

    To be honest, I don’t quite know what to think of Valve’s approach. It’s good that they invest in MODs, but to rip of customers with them? Heck, not good!!!

    Seems everyone ignores how Portal, Team Fortress 2 and Episode 2 are available separately now for insane prices. Screw the Orange Box, Valve can be a blood sucker.

    • Hypocee says:

      Read in Chris Remo’s AIM voice for additional hilarity.

    • Wat says:

      >TF2 tiny in content

      Sorry what

    • Sparvy says:

      …Do you hate fun?

    • Rinox says:

      Wow.

      About the only thing I remotely agree on is that Portal and co are still priced very high so long after their release. But hey, if you think it’s expensive, don’t buy it. Looks like a million billion other people didn’t mind the price and enjoyed the game(s) immensely.

      The rest is just insane.

    • Stupoider says:

      If you buy the Orange Box you get Portal free with the rest of the games. Actually, doesn’t the Orange Box cost about the same for 1 game?

  2. Hypocee says:

    This actually makes me a little sad, because I bought into LoL (after no interest in DotA or Demigod) and now anything Valve produces is going to stomp LoL into the ground. At least I can take consolation from the fact that it’ll be developed in Valve Time.

  3. Rei Onryou says:

    I would definitely like to see where this partnership leads…

  4. Intersting says:

    This seems REALLY fricking cool to see where it leads.
    The only thing i could imagine would happen was a individual very advanced dotagame with same awesome graphics. :)
    Can’t wait too see.

  5. innociv says:

    I hope if it’s like DotA, which it probably is, that it doesn’t have those stupid item recipes. =[
    And upgrade tree would be much more intuitive and have more options.

  6. Brayden says:

    This actually makes me a little sad, because I bought into LoL (after no interest in DotA or Demigod) and now anything Valve produces is going to stomp LoL into the ground. At least I can take consolation from the fact that it’ll be developed in Valve Time.

    I feel the same way but with Heroes of Newerth, another dota-clone that’s still in closed Beta. I’ve pre-purchased this title as well. :(

  7. Niglet says:

    I too bought into LoL and this makes me extremely excited!

    A company that is capable of keeping its servers up is going to be a refreshing change of pace!

  8. Owned says:

    There is no hero named Scout, Noob!

  9. Destroye says:

    VALVe’s probably going to make a Source version of DotA.

  10. Barney says:

    This is great nice for the DBG genre!

    I just feel this would be one heck of a DotA based game