Dota 2 bringing Festivus back through contest

After an initial wild burst of Dota 2 [official site] enthusiasm celebrating every holiday on the calendar with special events (who could forget 2013’s Urology Awareness Month minigame?), Valve have become quite bad at festivities. They’ve not celebrated Halloween (aka Diretide) or Crimble (Frostivus) properly since 2014, and their absence has been felt. Good news: Frostivus will return this year. Weird news: it’s returning through a contest asking players to create and submit modes. Unrelated news: the next big Dota 2 update, which will add two new heroes is still over a month away.

Valve are looking for submissions of competitive or cooperative Frostivus-themed modes for up to ten players. Folks have until November 20th to get their entries in, and Valve encourage creators to rustle up testers to help polish their modes.

The winning entry will get $30,000 (£22k) in prize money. Its makers will not receive a revenue share from whatever Valve use the map for. People who create and submit non-winning entries receive nothing.

On one hand, drawing from a far wider pool of designers than Valve’s own could mean the Frostivus event will be something wild and exciting. On the other, this is essentially spec work covering for a known shortcoming of Valve but presented as an exciting contest.

Pip has written before about how these types of contests can be ethically questionable.

One thing Valve are actually working on themselves is the Duelling Fates Update, the one adding those new murderers. The blog post offered a teensy update on that, saying “We are still hard at work on it and don’t have an exact release date, but we are expecting it to take about another month to finish the content.” They’ll likely take extra time to test and promote it too.

Anyway, my point is: bring back Greevils and their terrifying buttocks.


  1. WebFusion says:

    Gotta love it when one of the most profitable game companies on the planet constantly pursues a strategy of free outsourcing by having the player community create their content for them.

    When was the last time Valve had an original idea? 2007’s Orange Box? No wonder some of their most creative people have left in the last couple of years.

    ….and the award for the greatest collection of wasted talent goes to….

  2. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Valve in ‘refusing to pay their staff’ shocker.
    Valve in ‘treating developers like dirt’ shocker.

  3. Parrilla says:

    Really?! Festivus! I’m playing the Wolverhampton Festivus.