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DotA – Valve vs Everyone Who Isn’t IceFrog

News & Rumors Other

As you all know, Valve is developing what seems to be a DotA remake or reboot, possibly on Source.

They have IceFrog, one of the creators of the original Warcraft 3 mod with them, but what about the others?

DotA – Valve vs Everyone Who Isn’t IceFrog

Steve Mescon and Steve Feak, two of the mod’s original developers, who work at Riot Games, creator of “League of Legends”, a game heavily based off DotA’s gameplay style, have filed a trademark for “Defense of the Ancients”, under the name DotA-Allstars LLC, in an attempt to protect DotA, so that it can remain a “a community-owned product that modders, independent developers and game fans can continue to modify and play as often as they’d like”.

Personally, I hope Valve comes out on top. Last I heard, DotA wasn’t being updated anymore. They have IceFrog, who has been DotA’s current developer for many years now, who has DotA’s best interests at heart, and they will make an amazing product, whereas these “League of Legends” and “Heroes Of Newerth” games are commercial clones of DotA.

It’s even possible Valve’s DotA will be a free game.

Hopefully Valve straightens out this issue.


  1. Aside from the headline, this article is more accurate than most of the reports and discussion I’ve seen about this news. I disagree with you (and much of the gaming press) on a couple of fundamental things though:

    1. Riot Games didn’t file the trademark; DotA-Allstars, LLC did.
    The strongest connections Riot Games have to this particular news are that they employ the owners of DotA-Allstars, LLC and created a commercial game in the same genre as DotA.

    2. There’s no clear conflict and no need for Valve to “come out on top”. Based on the PCGamer interview, those responsible for the Defense of the Ancients filing are as excited as everyone else to see what Valve comes up with and are planning no legal opposition to the DOTA filing.

    • Thanks for the corrections, Nic.
      1. Alright, thanks. Only had time to briefly look through the trademark, but apparently Riot Games is somehow behind this, as indicated by the PC Gamer interview.
      2. Interesting.

      • Guinsoo and Pendragon of DotA Allstars both work at Riot Games. I have no idea whether they were founders or not but, based on the strong link PC Gamer gives, I’m assuming at least one of them is. (most likely Guinsoo)

        The PC Gamer headline correctly specifies that a developer at Riot Games filed the trademark, but most of the gaming press seem to have missed the ‘ after Riot Games and read it as “The developer Riot Games” instead of the intended “A developer at Riot Games”.

        • Thanks for all the info, I’ve added it to the article.

          In response to your original #2, there is a conflict. The PC Gamer interview shows that they don’t want one developer to have the trademark, and you can’t market a game with nothing but its acronym.

          • The way I see it, Valve won’t risk disputing the Defense of the Ancients trademark and DotA-Allstars are “giving them the benefit of the doubt” regarding their DOTA trademark. So no single developer owns the rights and the conflict ended the moment it began.

            If Valve intended to use “Defense of the Ancients” as the title of their game then they would have trademarked that (not just the acronym), unless they were testing the water.

            My guess is they’re going with another title that has the same acronym, maybe with a different capitalization. — Or perhaps JSJ didn’t know the projects real title and called it DotA based on the similarities, so they filed DOTA as a decoy. Although it seems very unlikely.

            That said, I’m not attempting to make you change your “comes out on top” part. My #2 was more about the gaming press in general reporting direct conflict over a single trademark, which isn’t the case yet. Also, I could easily be wrong about the intentions of both parties and either one could dispute (or have already disputed) the other’s claim.

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