While everyone got a great taste of what Valve is offering with DOTA 2 at Gamescom, Blizzard is still trying to work the kinks out of the version they had planned for their Starcraft 2 mod. Earlier today, Blizzard stated that the Blizzard DOTA project has been “flattened,” or essentially rebooted.
The primary reasoning given behind this is that the project just wasn’t meeting their design philosophy. Designer Johnny Ebbert spoke on the matter, saying that “One of the important things to note with that space is the DOTA everyone plays on Warcraft 3 is not particularly accessible to the novice.
“One of the game development philosophies we have at Blizzard is, easy to learn and difficult to master. That mod for Warcraft 3 doesn't really fit that description.”
So, while DOTA diehards may be a bit perturbed with knowing Blizzard is making it easier to jump in, newcomers should be glad to know that they’re thinking of them as well.
Meanwhile, Frank Peace, vice president of product development at Blizzard, said that the company is willing to rename the mod as necessary. This is because Valve actually had the name “DOTA” trademarked when they began development. So it seems to be easier to just place the final product under a different name, rather than risk the legal backlash and unnecessary drama.
“From my perspective, DOTA is a genre in this space, at this point, and almost a sub genre of the real-time strategy space,” Peace said. He added that “It doesn't seem like something someone would want to trademark, but the US legal system lets people do just about anything they want to try.”
Valve’s own Gabe Newell finally spoke out on the reasoning for the name trademarking as well. “The issue with that was, when we were talking with IceFrog originally, he wanted to build the sequel to DOTA,” he said. “So the reason to call it Dota 2 is it actually does a pretty good job of communicating to gamers what it is the game is going to be.”
“If a gamer looks at this game and you ask them, is that Dota 2? They're going to say yeah, that makes sense. That's a good name for it. That's really what's driving that.”
So, what we’re essentially left with is a rebooted project that might not even be released this year, and some more name drama in the industry. Here’s hoping both titles can be able to exist in the same space when the time comes.