After deciding to skip the Diretide event during Halloween 2013 and failing to reveal the decision to Dota 2 players, Valve promised it would communicate better with players in the future. When it comes down to it though, the company feels software is the best form of communication.
Speaking with PC Gamer during The International 2015, Valve’s Erik Johnson said the company walks a fine line between being overly communicative and wanting to surprise Dota 2 players with more significant development updates.
“We still feel that, fundamentally, our strongest form of communication is software,” said Johnson. “You can discern everything we’ve done and everything we’re thinking by reading through an update. We think that there’s some amount of value in just surprising the community with something you didn’t think was coming and we wouldn’t want to lose that.
“But we hear when people are saying that we do a poor job at communication and some of it’s an artifact of the type of company that we are. I think sometimes it turns to what I feel is a place that’s not super accurate, like ‘Valve doesn’t care’. We care a huge amount about our users and our community.”
Johnson acknowledged the company needs to “look at” communicating in a more open manner, but it still prefers a “different approach”. Instead of enlisting a community manager, “the person that you’re going to hear from at Valve is somebody who is working on the game every day.”
Dota 2 is being revamped with Source 2 engine and is in beta. Dubbed Dota 2 Reborn, Johnson said there is no ETA at the moment but with the tournament over, it will be out “sooner rather than later.”