Valve's free-to-play sequel to the genre-defining, worldwide popular competitive title Defense of The Ancients--Dota 2--will be released in full in North America and Europe this Summer, Valve's VP of marketing Doug Lombardi has told GameSpot.
Lombardi confirms a PC Gamer UK report that Dota 2, which has been in an official Beta state since September 13, 2011, will come out before this year's The International 3 competition, held August 7-11 at Benaroya Hall in Seattle. Valve told GameSpot that it will release more details in the next week or two.
"Dota 2 being officially released to the public acts as the next step for Valve in shipping the finished Dota 2 project," said David "GoDZ" Parker, Dota 2 Broadcaster for The BTS Studio. "While anyone interested in obtaining a beta key and playing the game could have already done so with minimal work, having the ease of play that being public brings will make it a true free-to-play game in the ARTS/MOBA genre."
Less than three weeks ago, Dota saw one of its largest updates in the form of patch 6.78, including various changes to Captain’s Mode, and balance changes to nearly 75 percent of the heroes. "These big patches allow for the meta to remain constantly fresh and helps separate the teams in terms of how well they can react to the changes," Matthew "Cyborgmatt" Bailey said. "It is one of the reasons why Dota is so loved."
At the same time Nexon, Valve's distributor of Dota 2 in South Korea, has announced it will put up $1.7 million in prize money for the launch of the game in the eSports-centric nation. Nexon's release of Dota 2 in South Korea, much like Perfect World’s release in China, will focus on developing infrastructure for local servers. Nexon will begin with a starter league tournament, with the winning Korean team getting travel and lodging to attend The International 3 as VIP spectators. Nexon is shooting for a fall release in South Korea.
"Dota 2 is a phenomenal game with elements of strategy and competition that has already garnered much fame in North America and Europe," Valve’s Director of Dota 2 Erik Johnson said. "With the help of Nexon and its experience in the Korean market we hope to have great success."
GameSpot will have an exclusive interview with Nexon on the release of Dota 2 in South Korea later this week.