Valve has announced on the Dota 2 blog that they’re developing their own standalone version of Dota Auto Chess while still supporting Drodo Studio, the Chinese developers behind the highly popular Dota 2 mod. The Dota 2 developers themselves admit having spent the last six months playing the mod. It would only follow that once Valve developers play and enjoy mods of their games that they would try to reach out to its developers and start a conversation to see whether they can work together.

This sense of collaboration with modders has always been at the heart of Valve, as Counter-Strike was originally a Half-Life mod, and so was Day of Defeat. While Team Fortress Classic was a Quake mod, the Half-Life engine was based on the original Quake engine, which also facilitated the collaboration for subsequent Team Fortress releases.

After all, Dota 2 itself was based on the Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III. It’s only natural, then, that a mod based on a game based on a mod would naturally evolve into its own standalone game. Valve has been talking to the Drodo team since February after flying them in from China, and the discussion over the future of Dota Auto Chess has taken a twofold turn: both Valve and Drodo will build their own standalone versions of Dota Auto Chess, and both will “support each other to the fullest.”

According to the post, Drodo has been working on their own mobile game, Zizouqi Auto Chess, which is unrelated to Dota, and the beta is out now. More information is available on the official English site. Valve has even been working with Drodo to help existing players migrate their account progress over to the new game. And with Drodo’s blessing, a team at Valve is currently working on the standalone Dota Auto Chess version, which Valve will share more information about soon. The blog post also includes a statement from the Drodo team, and it seems everyone is happy with the arrangement.

We appreciate the great encouragements, support and help that Valve offered on Dota Auto Chess and Drodo’s standalone game. Valve has been a great company, who gave birth to the Steam Platform and open community like Workshop, enabling millions of players to display their talents. Being a fan of Dota2, we have great confidence in Valve’s new game, and expect the next world-class game. In the meantime, with Valve’s support, Drodo will continue updating the DAC mod, and attempt to design new modes and adaptations in our stand-alone game. We endeavor to offer more to you, all the fans that like Auto Chess. Thank you, it’s you that are making this possible. We look forward to growing together!

So it seems fans will be able to enjoy not just one standalone version, but maybe even two. It depends on whether you prefer the game set in the Dota 2 universe, or whether you’d prefer to try it out with Drodo’s own take on it.

Are you interested in both versions of Auto Chess? Do you think it’s going to become a new strategy subgenre, or just a couple of standalone games? Lets us know in the comments below!


Richard Costa

Staff Writer

Hack for hire, indentured egghead, maverick thoughtcriminal. Mainly interested in Western RPGs, first-person immersion, turn-based tactics, point-and-clickers, and card jousting.



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