Valve are tinkering with the idea of welcoming the hugely successful Dota Auto Chess mod and making it an official Valve title. According to VPEsports sources, the tech giant has been thinking of ways to commercialize the Dota 2 mod and offer support and development help as a full-fledged title.
This is a development many either expected, or at least theorized would happen. Dota Auto Chess became a modern phenomenon like no other. Since it broke out on the market in November 2018, the mod has been gaining popularity at an exponential rate. Combining easy to learn but difficult to master strategy fundamentals (like the ones that made people love Blizzard titles) with a pinch of Dota 2 for taste, it comes as no surprise that so many found the game compelling.
Nowadays, there’s hardly any professional scene, whose players haven’t enjoyed Dota 2 Auto Chess. The Dota 2 community were the first to jump in, because it made sense for them. The Hearthstone pros followed next, as they found many parallels between card games and Auto Chess’ economy and strategy. Even CS:GO players, such as AVANGAR’s Bektiyar “fitch” Bahytov admitted he’s playing Auto Chess between games.
Currently, Dota Auto Chess sits at more than 4.4M subscribers: an increase of 400,000 in just four days, since it hit its 4M milestone on Feb. 16. In a recent AMA, the mod’s developers also said they’re thinking of hiring more staff and expanding their marketing team, and that they’ve also contacted Valve and working with the company to include a matchmaking system.
Valve’s interest towards Dota Auto Chess further makes sense, given their other Dota 2 project, the Artifact card game, launched to abject player count poverty. These days, Artifact struggles to peak above 1,000 players and hit an all-time low of 299 players last week. The game is firmly outside Steam’s top 250 most played titles, currently sitting at #284. Twitch stream numbers are also in decrepit state.
— Radoslav Kolev (@GGNydrA) February 19, 2019
Last year, Valve promised a $1M tournament for Artifact during Q1 of 2019, but with less than a month and a half to go in the quarter and with zero information about the tournament, fans of the card game are worrying that it might never happen. If Valve’s interest in Dota Auto Chess indeed covers potential acquisition and commercialization, it wouldn’t comes as a surprise to see an Auto Chess tournament instead of an Artifact one.