Straight From the Tap: Valve Say DOTA 2 Will Be Free to Play
Though still in beta, DOTA 2 has already surpassed Skyrim as the second-most played game on Steam. Prize money at the DOTA 2 International Championships later this year is a cool one million dollars. In stark contrast to that sum, Valve today made an announcement: DOTA 2 will be free to play.
Instead, gamer cash will flow through the Dota Store, where “items created by Valve and members of the community” can be purchased. If you’re eager to spend money now rather than later (and who isn’t, really?), Valve has you covered: “Early Access to the game is not required to purchase items before launch.” The official press release also includes this masterpiece of P.R. slickness, worthy of some modern Michael Ginsberg: “By making the game Free to Play, we hope to give gamers the ability to decide how – and how much – they want to invest in the game.”
At this point, the phrase “Free to play, not pay to win” is like “New Wave of British Heavy Metal.” It needs a recognized acronym, like “NWOBHM.” So in the future, when I say “FTPNPTW,” I hope you’ll understand my meaning. I’m sure DOTA 2 will be FTPNPTW. 60,000 gamers playing the beta simultaneously on May 7, 2012 were too.