While newer generations of players will recognize Valve as the creators of the Steam platform first and foremost, older generations will see Valve as a company that has built its success on mods. Games like Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, and Dota started their life as mods, with Valve giving those mod creators an opportunity to make a living as part of the company ecosystem. Having established the Valve way, the publisher recently reached out to Drodo Studio, the people behind blossoming Dota 2 mod Dota Auto Chess. The result is a formal impasse that will result in Valve trying to craft its own first-party version of Dota Auto Chess.
“We had great conversations, but we both came to the conclusion that Valve and Drodo could not work directly with each other for a variety of reasons,” reads the Dota 2 blog. “We ended up agreeing that we’ll each build our own stand-alone version of the game, and support each other to the fullest.”
The schism appears to stem from Drodo’s mobile version of Dota Auto Chess, which the studio is looking to release worldwide, including to China. Valve’s proposed Dota Auto Chess will apparently cater exclusively to the PC user. Despite the impasse, both parties appear to be amicable towards one another, with Drodo offering Valve its assistance and Valve offering its future support to Drodo.
“We appreciate the great encouragements, support and help that Valve offered on Dota Auto Chess and Drodo’s standalone game,” reads the Drodo statement, also on the Dota 2 blog post. “Valve has been a great company, who gave birth to the Steam Platform and open community like Workshop, enabling millions of players to display their talents. Being a fan of Dota2, we have great confidence in Valve’s new game, and expect the next world-class game. In the meantime, with Valve’s support, Drodo will continue updating the DAC mod, and attempt to design new modes and adaptations in our stand-alone game. We endeavor to offer more to you, all the fans that like Auto Chess. Thank you, it’s you that are making this possible. We look forward to growing together!”
The unfamiliar may wonder what exactly Dota Auto Chess is. This is a modded custom Dota 2 map, designed to look like an 8×8 chess board and use Dota 2 heroes as game pieces. The idea here is more about strategy, with pieces fighting automatically and victory determined by hero placement. More details on this game mode can be found on the Steam Workshop. The mobile version of Auto Chess is currently in beta.
As for Valve’s take on Dota Auto Chess, there is nothing to report on that just yet. Valve is promising updates in the future. Hopefully, the end result will fare better than the Dota card game.