Valve announces development of standalone game Dota Auto Chess

Valve wants to make its own version of Dota Auto Chess, and it’s willing to do so with or without the game’s original developers.

The publisher announced on the official Dota 2 blog that a standalone version of the popular game mod is in development. Interestingly, Valve announced that it was doing this with the blessing of original designer Drodostudio, but not with his help.

“In February, we brought in the Drodo team from China to discuss the future of Dota Auto Chess and to see if they would like to collaborate directly with us,” Valve said. “We had great conversations, but we both came to the conclusion that Valve and Drodo couldn’t work directly with each other for various reasons. We ended up agreeing that we’ll each build our own standalone version of the game and that we will support each other as much as possible.

Dota Auto Chess was rolled out in January as a user-created game mode in Dota 2. The mod turns the MOBA into a turn-based survival board game, offering a surprising amount of depth and creativity. Auto Chess immediately caught fire and attracted millions of new players, breathing new life into the Dota 2 community and converting a number of professional players from other games.

The initial expectation was that Valve would partner with Drodostudio to create a standalone PC version of the game. Instead, Drodo announced a partnership with a Chinese app developer which resulted in the porting of Auto Chess to devices mobiles with redesigned characters and all references to Dota 2 removed.

Still, Valve won’t let Drodo’s departure prevent it from capitalizing on the resounding success of Auto Chess. According to the blog post, Valve is working on its own standalone version of the game with the two parts diverging.

Other than its existence, no plans have been announced regarding the standalone version of Auto Chess. No speculative release date or price has been announced, with Valve’s statement ending on a vague note: “We will share more information on this soon.”

In the short term, Drodostudio said it will continue to update the existing Auto Chess game mode for now while continuing to roll out its mobile adaptation.

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