If you don’t play MMOs, don’t play PC games, don’t have a smartphone or play games on one, or have been living under many rocks specially designed to withstand any kind of penetration from entertainment media, it is probably a surprise that the new, surging business model in the world of video games is that they’re being released for the low, low price of free. Just about every MMO nowadays is free to play, and some games that aren’t MMOs are starting to follow suit, especially in the smartphone gaming market. So, though it is great news for fans of MOBAs and Valve, it shouldn’t really be a surprise that DOTA 2 will be free to play.
“It’s going to be free-to-play – it’ll have some twists, but that’s the easiest way for people to think about it.”
He didn’t say exactly what the twists will be, but he did say that players that are more valuable to the community might get some special perks. Considering the MOBA genre, though super fun to play, generally contains the most vile, hateful communities compared to other online gaming communities (a mystery that I will never be able to solve), I, for one, would love if Valve somehow figures out how to offer special perks to players who act like decent folk.
Newell acknowledges the fact that online communities tend to be, um, unpleasant, at times:
“We’re trying to figure out ways so that people who are more valuable to everybody else [are] recognized and accommodated. We all know people where if they’re playing we want to play, and there are other people where if they’re playing we would [rather] be on the other side of the planet.”
DOTA 2 doesn’t currently have a release date, and I’m sure Heroes of Newerth and League of Legends would rather it stay that way, but until that fateful day, players can rest easy knowing that DOTA 2 will adopt the ever-present free-to-play model.
- EverQuest finally went free-to-play
- Star Wars: The Old Republic is having free-to-play weekends
- Free-to-play MMO makes $2.6 million selling one kind of item
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com