Potentially the latest in a line of multiplayer Valve games derived from user-created mods, the Dota 2 publisher may be looking to acquire the game’s popular new Auto Chess mod and transform it into its own stand-alone title. While the publisher hasn’t released a fully-fledged new experience since 2012’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive, this could be encouraging news for players desperate for Valve to return to the world of game development.
Released in November of last year, Dota 2’s Auto Chess mod feels entirely separate from traditional Dota gameplay. One part chess and one part MOBA, the mod ends up feeling like a unique game of strategic resource management. Matches often begin as relatively simple affairs but eventually blossom into complex battles which would make Sun Tzu blush. The game may look like Dota 2 on the surface, but most players will argue that it’s a different beast entirely.
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According to rumor, Valve seems eager to cash in on this emerging new style of gameplay, and that only makes sense. Their lauded Team Fortress series was spawned of a simple mod for the original Quake, and even the beloved Counter Strike franchise began thanks to a mod for the first Half Life game. Could this be yet another Valve game inspired by modders?
While it sounds like a neat concept, it’s hard to know what the staying power of this new fad will be. In the ever-evolving video game industry, nobody wants to be left behind, and Valve may look more than a little behind-the-times if they spend a year developing a game from which everyone has already moved on.
Yet, the major concern here is Valve’s apparent unwillingness to produce a proper new IP or worthy successor to any of their single-player franchises. While many have long since given up the ghost when it comes to a prospective new Half Life game, Valve’s continued support of unwanted subsidiary games can only hurt their image. Plenty still remember the literal chorus of disappointment cast at Dota 2’s card game spin-off Artifact when it was revealed back in 2017, and further underwhelming releases may only serve to play with the emotions of fans.
It’s hard to know exactly what’s in store for Dota 2’s Auto Chess mod. It could very well be that nothing comes of this potential deal with Valve. Plus, some fans would rather leave the mode as a simple user-created mod rather than allow the publisher to step in and disappoint everyone yet again.