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Dota 2 Delayed Until 2012, Beta Coming Soon

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Valve's Gabe Newell has revealed that the highly anticipated MOBA game, Dota 2, won't ship until 2012. Dota 2 is the sequal to the popular Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients.

Valve plans to launch a closed, invitation-only beta after the Gamescom tournament ends, followed by a public beta launch. "And then we'll probably start worrying about how we'll monetise it," Newell told Eurogamer.

Originally planned for a 2011 release, Newell announced, "We'll just go into progressively wider and wider distribution. I don't think it'll be shipped until next year."

Don't expect that to be the end of it, though. Newell continued, "with a game like this, you just keep shipping. You add new heroes. You try out new game modes. You are constantly tweaking item and hero balance. It's very much an ongoing thing."

With that statement, comes the question: Could Dota 2 possibly end up going free-to-play? League of Legends, what many would consider Dota 2's biggest competition, has already adopted that model. Players are able to download the game and begin playing immediately for free. From there, the champions rotate about every week giving players a chance to experience each unique champion for free. Players then have the option to purchase the champions for free with IP (earned by playing matches) or RP (for those who don't want to grind to unlock champions). RP can also be used to unlock champion skins.

When asked about this free-to-play model, Newell responded, "We don't know. We don't have plans yet. The problem isn't to figure out what your monetisation strategy is. If you have something with a super careful monetisation strategy and it sucks, it doesn't matter."

"The most important thing is to do something that resonates well with the existing Dota players and creates a vehicle for new players to join into the community. That's the hard problem. That's the interesting one to solve."

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Matt Liebl You can follow Senior News Editor Matt Liebl on Twitter @Matt_GZ. He likes games, sports, musicals, and his adorable dog, Wrigley. And his wife.
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