We were quite surprised by the fact that we didn’t hear anything from Valve about Dota Auto Chess for so long. It almost seemed like they had no interest whatsoever on this amazing custom game. However, Valve finally made a statement, and it’s an exciting one.
If you’re like us, you’ve spent much of the last six months playing Dota Auto Chess. And if you’ve followed Valve closely over time, you know what usually comes next: we’ll play something we love or meet some people we’re inspired by and then figure out a way to work together. In fact, Dota 2 exists because a group of us here at Valve couldn’t stop playing the original mod. After we played the game, roughly 1 billion times, it was pretty clear that we should reach out to the creators, Drodo Studio, and start a conversation about working together. – From Valve’s blogpost.
Valve started out their blogpost by talking a little bit about the history of Dota 2, and how it came to be. The developers at Valve, who were also avid fans of Dota 1 (A Warcraft III Custom Map), approached IceFrog for making a stand-alone spiritual successor of Dota, and that’s how Dota 2 was born. Apparently, Valve had similar ideas for Dota Auto Chess, and they approached Drodo Studio, the creators of Dota Auto Chess.
So in February we flew the Drodo team over from China to chat about the future of Dota Auto Chess, and to see if they’d want to collaborate directly with us (this was also during one of the worst weeks of snow we’ve had in years, sorry about that, Drodo). 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. We ended up agreeing that we’ll each build our own stand-alone version of the game, and support each other to the fullest.
So Valve flew in the Drodo team to their office in the USA and had a discussion with them, but unfortunately they couldn’t collaborate due to “a variety of reasons.” That sentence makes me very curious as to what those reasons could have been. However, there is some good news.
Drodo has been working on their own, non-Dota mobile game and the beta is out now. We’ve worked with them to help the existing DAC mod players migrate their account progress over to their new game. It looks pretty cool so far, we encourage you to go check it out.
As for us, with Drodo’s blessing, a group of people here at Valve are currently working on a standalone Dota version. We’ll share more information about this soon.
So Valve will be making a standalone Dota version of Auto Chess, while Drodo Studio will be working on their mobile game. Although it would have been great for them to work together, its good to know that we will be getting 2 versions of the game: one on PC, and one on mobile – two similar games by two incredible developers.
Valve has already filed a new trademark titled “DOTA UNDERLORDS”. Many were speculating that this could be a standalone version of Dota Chess, and now we got a confirmation.