- May 4, 2013
It's the summer of 2010. Typing to a backdrop of Chatroulette and Chilean Miners, it becomes clear that none of us in the Rock, Paper, Shotgun staff chatroom, where I worked at the time, know how to react to the news that Valve, a company famous for giving gamers what they want before they know they want it, is making the sequel to Defense of the Ancients.
Today, Valve's characteristic accuracy is intact. Dota 2's beta is the most popular game on Steam, boasting a peak of 329,977 simultaneous players. This falls far short of League of Legends, Dota 2's biggest competitor, which was able to boast five million concurrent players earlier in the year, but this month the real race starts. Valve is rolling out access to Dota 2 in successive waves, and while Dota 2 is arriving late, it's doing so with an inarguably more generous free-to-play business model, which only charges for cosmetic upgrades.
Yet for the growing shadow that Dota 2 casts, it remains intimidating, or even bizarre to all of us looking in. Which isn't unfair. Dota 2 is bizarre. It's a game where a cockney porcupine can work together with a god of destruction and a ghost to try to temporarily kill a particularly high-level tree.