Valve is making its own version of fan-made phenomenon Dota Auto Chess. In a blog post last night, the developer said that it’s been in discussion with the developers of the custom Dota game mode, and is now “working on a standalone version.”
I’m still not 100% sure how Dota Auto Chess actually works, but with a player count that’s now topped 8.5 million subscribers, it’s no surprise that some of the people at Valve have figured it out. Last night’s blog post says that “after we played the game, roughly one billion times, it was pretty clear that we should reach out to the creators, Drodo Studio, and start a conversation about working together.”
As a result, Chinese developer Drodo Studios flew to Valve’s offices from China, “to chat about the future of Dota Auto Chess, and to see if they’d want to collaborate directly with us.” Sadly, while the conversation seemed productive “we both came to the conclusion that Valve and Drodo could not work directly with each other.” As a result, “we ended up agreeing that we’ll each build our own stand-alone version of the game, and support each other to the fullest.
Valve points out that Drodo has been working on a mobile version of Auto Chess, stripped of the Dota licensing, and says that it’s been helping the studio migrate progress from the original game mode over to the new project. Since Auto Chess exists on the Dota client, it looks like it’ll stick around for a while – the developers say that “with Valve’s support, Drodo will continue updating the DAC mod.”
In the meantime, however, Valve says that “with Drodo’s blessing, a group of people here at Valve are currently working on a standalone Dota version” of Auto Chess. Information is limited at the moment, but more information should be shared soon.
Last week, Valve filed a trademark for something called Dota Underlords. It’s not at all clear what that is at the moment, although some fans have speculated that it’ll be officially unveiled at The International in August. The timing around all of that would probably work pretty nicely, and I have a feeling that this announcement might go down better than Artifact’s reveal did. Either way, the exciting takeaway is that Valve is working on another new game. Now where did I put that Half-Life 3 hype?