Valve wants to make its own version of Dota Auto Chess, and it’s willing to do so with or without the game’s original developers.
The publisher announced on the official Dota 2 blog that a standalone version of the popular game mod is now in development. Interestingly, Valve announced it is doing so with the blessing of original designer Drodostudio, but not with its help.
“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,” Valve said. "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.”
Dota Auto Chess was rolled out in January as a user made game mode in Dota 2. The mod transforms the MOBA into a turn-based survival board game, offering a surprising amount of depth and creativity. Auto Chess instantly caught fire and attracted millions of new players, breathing new life into the Dota 2 community and converting a number of pro players from other games.
The initial expectation was for Valve to partner with Drodostudio to create a standalone PC version of the game. Instead, Drodo announced a partnership with a Chinese app developer which resulted in Auto Chess being ported to mobile devices with redesigned characters and all references to Dota 2 scrubbed out.
Still, Valve isn’t going to let Drodo’s departure stand in the way of capitalizing on the booming success of Auto Chess. According to the blog post, Valve is working in its own standalone version of the game with the two parties diverging.
Outside its existence, no plans were announced in regards to the standalone version of Auto Chess. No speculative release date or price point were announced, with Valve’s statement ending on a vague note of, “We’ll share more information about this soon.”
In the short term, Drodostudio stated it will continue updating the existing Auto Chess game mode for the time being while also pushing forward with the rollout of its mobile adaptation.