Archive for the ‘Defense of the Ancients’ Tag

The future of Dota 2?   Leave a comment

The issues surrounding Dota 2 are news to few and Valve have done something very unusual in creating this game. While it is the case that Valve have taken what were essentially mods and created full-blown games in the past, a practice now often seen in the indie movement, in this case they have taken a mod so deeply entrentched in a specific game and its world that controversy was bound to follow.

And, to an extent, I can understand the backlash by Blizzard, original DotA fans, Riot Games and others over this. It does seem a bit strange for Valve to take Dota 2 like this without getting a more workable response from the community as well as Blizzard. They only ever recruited the lead developer from the past 7 years, there were two developers before IceFrog, one of whom was the creator of what is the almost exclusively played version of the map. That creates a pretty strong case against Valve’s claim that they can register Dota 2 as a trademark.

Valve have a problem as it seems Blizzard are very willing to take them to task over the Dota 2 trademark claim and I think, as much as I dislike anything part of the great beast that is Activision, Blizzard are in the right about this one. The disappointing thing is that I have played the Dota 2 beta and Valve have a great products on their hands but I can’t help and wonder whether Valve’s aggressive push forward in developing and trademarking this while these issues remain was a bit more shrewd and manipulative that it might appear to some. Valve don’t normally have a reputation for developing something so polished, so quickly.

Certainly, Valve’s Dota 2 will come out in some form even if Blizzard wins its case and I have lost all ability to see Valve as the little guy fighting the big bad beast here because, as small as they are compared to what they now go against, they aren’t little and they should have forseen these problems. I just don’t trust Valve to throw straight dice in this. The questions I wonder are, if Valve wins this upcoming battle, will it affect Blizzard’s own DotA efforts or any continued development of the original Defense of the Ancients? With Team Fortress, Valve hired anyone and everyone who was part of the modding team and it wasn’t tied into one game’s world or mythology so deeply. IceFrog’s claim to the DotA trademark is suspect at best and the game is so bound up with Warcraft III that I can’t see Valve winning this one. At the end of it all, though, I am cheering for Blizzard on this one and I think it’ll be a good thing if Valve don’t get that trademark.

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This week in gaming   Leave a comment

The quick cap news

* Peter Molyneux is to receive a BAFTA fellowship, the highest honour bestowed by the British arts award body.

* Tax breaks in the next budget might be in the works for UK games developers, as a measure to bolster the growing industry.

* Bioshock 2 DLC goes up and then down on GfWL. Despite the problems, 2K gave assurances that refunds would be given to those who purchased the originally free DLC.

* A new pro-gaming show, covering Intel-sponsored games, draws in 2.26 million viewers on Eurosport.

* Former RedOctane CEO attributes the death of the Guitar Hero franchise to abuse from Activision.

* Gabe Newell, managing director of digital distribution front-runners Valve, proposes a merit-based system for the purchasing of future DLC and, possibly, games.

* The US Federal Trade Commission are to investigate free-to-play games due to consumer fears that children did not understand the ramifications of in-game purchases.

* Yet another study concludes that there is no desensitising effect to video games. Thank you for saying, yet again, what gamers already know, and conservatives and identity politics groups will ultimately ignore.

* Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood will feature DRM that is much more tolerable than its predecessor. No longer will gamers be required to remain connected to the internet constantly to show Ubisoft that they haven’t been playing a second-hand pirated game.

* Witcher II developer CD Projekt Red asserted its own opposition to DRM in its new game, preferring a focus on richer game content. It was conceded that DRM may feature in the game as a result of factors from other parts of the retail chain.

* Several former Bizarre Creations employees have started a new studio, Lucid Games. Backed by local concerns trying to keep talent within Liverpool, the studio may create up to 50 jobs.

Main news

Telltale Games have been in the news a fair bit recently. Besides the recent Back to the Future series of episodic games, the developer has announced games based on the Jurassic Park franchise to appear in April. Further, they are expanding their range with the acquisition of DC’s Fables and a revival of Sierra classic King’s Quest. Other things in the pipeline included a publishing deal for indie adventure Hector: Badge of Carnage and a sequel to the earlier hit Puzzle Agent. Also, they released a video chronicling the rise of digital distribution.

Also…

* You won’t find this side of gaming out from Fox… Chime brings in $96,000 for charity.

* If human rights abuses and lack of democracy weren’t enough, it’s a bad day to be a gamer in Vietnam.

* Wind Waker stained glass auctioned on eBay.

* Petroglyph announces closed beta for its new F2P DotA style game, Rise of the Immortals.

* Also, this is one cool dad.

Have a good weekend all.