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Introducing the Dota Store

Today we’re announcing that Dota 2 will be free to play, and contain an in-game store where you’ll be able to buy fancy gear to customize your heroes. From the forum threads we’ve read over the months since The International, it’s pretty clear that this won’t come as much of a surprise to anyone out there. There are a variety of smaller details that we’ve decided to put together a FAQ to help with, but we wanted to address the two most common concerns right away:

  • Dota 2 will not be a pay-to-win game. All the items in the store are cosmetic, and don’t affect gameplay.
  • All of the heroes will be available free of charge. We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it’s something we plan to avoid.

We’re really excited about this. As we’ve explored cosmetic customization for heroes, we’ve been finding that we can use it to broaden our lore, and expand on the characters. We’ve received a lot of positive responses to the unique hero voices in the game, and the window they give you into each hero’s personality. We think this will be another avenue where we can expand in that direction. Here you can see some examples:

As mentioned above, we’ve put together a FAQ that covers concerns we’ve seen out in the community, and our plans for addressing them, and you can check that out here. As always, take a look and send us your thoughts. If we’ve missed anything, make sure to let us know.

Dota’s always been a game where the community has had an extremely active role in driving it forward, from the huge amount of feedback that Icefrog receives to the number of suggestions posted in the hero ideas forums. We wanted to make sure that Dota 2 expands on that community interaction even further, to the point where players can directly contribute to the game itself.

So today we’re also announcing that Dota 2 is now part of the Steam Workshop. If you’re not familiar with the Steam Workshop, it’s a place where fans can upload content they’ve created for a game, and other players can vote and comment on it. The development team then takes those uploads and releases them as official parts of the game itself, and the original fan creator gets a slice of the sales from the in-game store. In the first year alone over 3.5 million dollars was paid out to TF2 fans who’s creations are now a permanent part of the game.

If you’re a Dota 2 fan with some artistic skills, here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor of what’s sure to be a vibrant community for years to come, and be able to contribute directly to the game you’re already playing non-stop. If you’re still working on your art skills, you can still contribute massively by looking over the submissions as they arrive, and giving the thumbs up to ones that you’d like to see in your games.