We may earn a commission when you buy through links in our articles. Learn more.

Dota Underlords has “killed Valve Time”, can we have Half-Life 3 now, please?

"I think we finally killed Valve Time"


Valve might have finally defeated ‘Valve Time’ with Dota Underlords, according to one of the autobattler game’s devs. You know, ‘Valve Time‘ – that long-running joke about Valve’s projected release dates versus actual release dates (1998 for the Team Fortress 2 launch compared to October 10, 2007). Adrian Finol says he thinks the game’s dev team “finally killed Valve Time” in making the game – and it seems it’s largely thanks to the game’s public development.

In an interview with PC Gamer (issue 341), Finol – one of the 31 person-strong team behind the autobattler – indicates that rather than following the studio’s pattern of releasing games later than initially anticipated, Dota Underlords has broken with tradition. “I think we finally killed Valve Time”, he says.

“I think it was mostly from how fast we were building it. We knew that we were moving fast, because we were excited to work on it, and we wanted to get it out”, he explains. However, it sounds like it wasn’t the team’s excitement alone that got it over the finishing line.

“I think at the end of the day it ended clear that we cannot develop this on our own,” Finol says, adding that the team realised they needed to bring players on board to the process: “We need a bunch of people on our side to tell us how they are going to play this game.”

This was achieved by opening the process up and going public with their design, letting players deliver feedback on their gameplay experience directly to the devs via the beta client. Given many of the players’ experience playing the fan-made Dota 2 mod phenomenon, Dota Auto Chess, this it seems was hugely valuable in giving the devs the information they needed to get the game to launch.

Now, less than a year after Dota Underlords’ announcement, it’s nearly here – the official Dota Underlords release date is February 25. Check out the most recent issue of PC Gamer for the full feature on Valve’s upcoming autobattler.

Now, if we could just convince Valve to kill Valve Time for Half-Life 3, too. We’ll help you develop it, we promise!