Valve concerned with getting DotA 2 right, will worry about monetization later

By Stephany Nunneley
30 August 2011 20:40 GMT

Valve’s Gabe Newell And Erik Johnson have said the studio is more concerned with getting DotA 2 working right and making it fun than how it will be monetized.

Speaking in an interview with Gamasutra, Newell said the firm needs to get it right because DotA fans are a bit of a “tough audience.”

“The primary focus for us at this point is not worrying about monetization, and it’s instead worrying about getting the game right,” said Newell. “So we started with a group of IceFrog’s testers that he’s worked with for all the different versions, and sort of got it to a point where we’d stopped making them crazy with all of the dumb things that we had done.

“And The International tournament [which went on at gamescom] is sort of the next step of that process. It’s like, this is a very tough audience; there are a bunch of clear technology pieces and server pieces we have to get done. And the phase after that is, there’s going to be an invitation beta, and then after that there’s going to be an open beta.

“But our focus is really much on building something that’s cool, and then we’ll worry about monetization. So we’re not going to worry about that until later. Premature monetization is the root of all evil.

“I think not sucking is way more of an important thing to pay attention to first. I think every gamer can point to shipping too early, or sucking, as being a way more dominant story in our industry than, ‘Oh, it was slightly cumbersome to give the company money.’ I mean look at Minecraft, right? Notch wasn’t thinking through his incredibly precise monetization strategy.’

Johnson added that Valve tends to do the “hardest stuff first,” when developing a game, and that figuring out how to make money off it it is “not nearly as difficult.”

Dota 2 is slated for release on PC and Mac later this year.

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