Auto Chess made a big splash at E3 by announcing a stand-alone version of the game coming to PC (on the Epic Games Store), and launching a mobile version which has quickly been installed more than a million times. Valve made it very clear a few weeks ago that they would be working on their own standalone version of the Dota 2 mod to be released in the near future, but it seems the success and popularity of the new app have spurred them into action. Today they announced that Dota Underlords is already available for those who own a DotA 2 battle pass. After about a week of stress-testing servers, the game will be made available in open beta so even if you're not an avid DotA 2 player then you won't have long to wait.
DotA Underlords will be available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android and might actually give Auto Chess a run for its money, considering the popularity of the source material and the fact that Auto Chess itself was unable to actually use any of the properties from the original mod. Valve wanted to make it clear that DotA Underlords is being released very early in development and so is expected to change pretty constantly throughout the beta process, as well as requesting that those playing the beta gave the company as much feedback as possible.
If you're a DotA 2 battle pass owner you can download the new game on the DotA 2 dashboard right now. For everyone else, the open beta should start at some point next week.
Quick TakeWell, this might be the most obvious opinion ever, but it seems clear to me that Valve wasn't expecting Auto Chess to suddenly hit the market at E3 this past week. Presented with the possibility of a competitor app releasing and cornering the market while they were still in development they decided to go to beta earlier than anticipated and now here we are. Of course, this is all just my speculation, it is possible that they may have planned it this way all along and it's just a huge coincidence that Auto Chess came out and was immensely popular, then Valve just happened to decide to release their version almost immediately afterward. Does anyone remember the days of Valve Time? Me either.
What do you think about the released of DotA Underlords? Do you think it was released to coincide with Auto Chess coming out? Let us know what you think in the comments below.