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Valve Trademarks 'DOTA' 141

An anonymous reader tips news that Valve Software has filed a trademark claim for the term "DOTA," fueling speculation that the company will soon reveal a new Defense of the Ancients game. Voice actor John St. John recently said he was recording for such a game in a post to Twitter. The tweet was subsequently deleted. Last year Valve hired 'Icefrog,' lead developer for the original DotA mod.
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Valve Trademarks 'DOTA'

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  • DOTA? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2010 @06:49AM (#33226374)

    Nobody gives a shit.

  • Ok but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2010 @06:51AM (#33226384)

    What about Half Life? Is this franchise dead or something?

  • Re:dota (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omgarthas ( 1372603 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:07AM (#33226434)
    I get your point, but the clerk and the store didn't hand me a copy of Warcraft 3 for free
  • Business model (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Issarlk ( 1429361 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:09AM (#33226452)
    1 - choose a popular mod to an existing game.
    2 - hire the devs
    3 - release standalone Steam version
    4 - PROFIT!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:28AM (#33226550)

    Uh, I enjoyed DOTA some, and it was definitely a pretty fresh idea. I love that Valve hires developers in the mod scene that do good things (counter strike, team fortress, portal, I could go on).

    However, League of Legends is just getting into season 1, becoming IMO the pretty ideal DOTA game. I play it alot and it has improved greatly on the gameplay. And they just keep adding characters!

    On TOP of that, there was Demigod, which was a more full 3d DOTA but it mostly flopped, and furthermore there is Heroes of Newearth.
    All that in addition to people still playing DOTA on war3, not to mention all the new DOTA clones coming out in starcraft2, taking advantage of all the new tools.
    Valve hired icefrog, one of the lead DOTA developers, awhile back. Thats awesome. However, you're telling me a game developer only has ONE game idea? Comeon, I'm sure that guy has like 10 more ideas, much less valve's gotta have tons of game ideas kicking around.

    So, why does Valve need to make a DOTA game? This seems SUPER SUPER unneccesary. I usually love valve's games, but WHERE THE HELL IS HALF LIFE?
    WE HAVE 10 DOTA CLONES ALREADY. We just wanna play episode 3 :(

    Hopefully it'll be some kinda free and open source thing like they just did with alien swarm. If its $20, I don't see it competing with League of Legends (free!) and if its $60, I don't see ANYONE buying it. So... hm. Not sure what they're thinking here...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 12, 2010 @07:40AM (#33226600)

    I'd love to know how you trademark something made by someone else and which someone else has already used on released games.

    It's pretty easy when that someone else didn't bother to trademark their brand name. You don't have to register a trademark, but you do have to throw a TM next to the name every time you use it. Neither DotA nor DotA All Stars ever did this, so anyone is free to trademark it. If the original dev had trademarked it, he would have had to transfer that trademark to allow someone else to use it to make DotA All Stars, who then would have had to transfer it to the new maintainer to allow him to continue to use it. And since that second maintainer now works for Valve, he would have been free to transfer it to them.

  • Re:Business model (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wynterwynd ( 265580 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:18AM (#33226804)

    Except technically speaking, Portal was not a mod. It was based off of a proof-of-concept puzzle game called Narbacular Drop.

    Other than that, yep.

    I can't see it as anything but good for gaming. Gamers know what gamers want and so far the groundswell approach they use has produced some truly great games.

  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @08:27AM (#33226848) Homepage

    I played it all the way from the original Eul version, and those weren't buggy or newbie hostile at all. It got a lot more hostile to newbies in remakes as the complexity shot through the roof.

    There's really no problem with him maintaining it, he's done a good job. There is a problem with claiming they're in the moral right to trademark it because the original author is working there, because that's a bald faced lie.

  • Re:History of use (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @09:06AM (#33227170)

    Citation needed.

    Unlike other areas of IP, trademark must be actively defended. If you don't inform others of your trademark, you are not defending it. The fact a trademark was not previously filed and according to the gp post, declaration of trademark was never made. As such, it does appear safe to assume they have never made any effort to trademark or defend a trademark.

    Also, this is not Wikipedia or a researched document. "Citation needed". means you are incapable of effective, polite, communication and is frequently a sign of a dumb, lazy, douche bag. All too often, "Citation needed", means the author is too dumb and lazy to use a search engine. If you are not a douche bag, please stop using that phrase when outside of its proper context.

  • Re:Business model (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shanrak ( 1037504 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @09:40AM (#33227434)
    Every additional download of steam (which is required for alien swarm) means an additional exposure to some of their weekend and special sales. Its an excellent way of getting your advertising out, and at the same time it inflates steam user count so it shows publishers how big of a customer base they are losing if they choose to not publish on steam.
  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @10:58AM (#33228272)

    One might notice that they've become extremely lax with regards to development. Source has badly stagnated and as such they aren't really selling any engine licenses. Their own game development proceeds at a snail's pace. However Steam sales are extremely brisk. They are making tons of money on it.

    Also Steam is very much a "One platform to rule them all," kind of setup. Steam doesn't play well with others. Their DRM, Steamworks is mandatory for all games on Steam, but also free for anyone to use. In fact retail titles use it now... But if a game is Steamworks then you have to install and run Steam to play the game. This also means you have to allow distribution of your game on Steam, but also that you game probably cannot be distributed on any other download platform. While they don't require that, it is how things go by default. After all, Impulse does not want you to have to download a game through their service, then once it is installing go and install Steam which will ALSO have to run.

    Valve really seems to want to push Steam as the one and only way to do games. Everything will be on there, even if you happened to buy it in a store. To that end, pushing Steam to the maximum number of people possible is a real smart idea.

    Don't get me wrong, I use Steam and own many games on it, but they do have a bit of the big brother, "We want to control all your media," type stuff going on. If that's your goal, putting out some free products to achieve it is worth while.

  • by vecctor ( 935163 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @11:18AM (#33228570)

    The original DotA for WC3:RoC was very polished and MUCH less complicated.

    The thing I liked about it was that it didn't have the "avalanche" effect that all-stars did. The characters could only level to 10, and the items were not ludicrously powerful - so there was no point at which certain heroes became absurdly powerful. I always felt allstars devolved into item farming.

  • Re:dota (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Haffner ( 1349071 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @11:50AM (#33228922)

    As a fairly avid gamer who has played well over 2000 games of dota (TDA gamecount is in the 1200s), and someone who plays dota as his main game, let me be the first to say: DotA is NOT a good game to get in to. While I love it and think its a terrific game, it is extraordinarily difficult to get into. There are over 90 heroes, each of whom possess 4 skills. There are also probably 60 something (guessing off the top of my head) items. In order to be able to play and enjoy the game, you need to know 1) skills for every hero, and 2) item builds for the heroes you play.

    I have tried to get my friends to try dota- the ones that used to play have largely quit for HoN or sc2. The only people I can recommend dota to are the ones that a) are skilled strategy game players, b) enjoy playing wc3, and c) are willing to dedicate the roughly 50+ hours necessary to simply UNDERSTAND dota.

    Dota is a competitive, balanced, and rewarding game, but it takes a tremendous time investment before one can enjoy it. In my opinion, for beginners, dota will not be truly fun until you are able to understand the other team/players' strategies and counter them. Most low level dota consists of farming up items and then trying to kill things. While this might be fun for a while, this is like playing l4d2 with computers: it's fun, but you're missing out on the most crucial part of the game

    Lastly, most dota players are terrible people. They feign ignorance, love to blame others, and can singlehandedly ruin a game. This is something you need to understand - just one player can make an otherwise great game miserable. Especially in low level league play (like TDA or THR) where there are penalties for leaving a game early, having one of these people on your team can make for 45 minutes of hell. Also, most players won't really progress beyond these leagues, so if you're trying to get in to dota, this is what you have to look forward to.

    That said, best of luck... It would be great to have new dota players, or a standalone REAL dota game (that exactly mirrors the wc3 variant - my problem with HoN is it's too different).

  • by snorb ( 109422 ) on Thursday August 12, 2010 @12:16PM (#33229218)

    Been getting into LoL recently, and while I agree it's very polished (I really like the character designs and the free-to-play model is a good one), the one area that Valve could improve on is making it more newbie-friendly. While LoL may be more newbie-friendly than DoTA, that's like saying Venus is less hot than the sun. It's still not a very hospitable place. It's basically a full-time job to get up to speed with all the acronyms, jargon, and conventions. You join your first match of LoL and your teammate says something like: "I'm going jungle Amumu with an AP Sunfire build so I can tank the carry in the lane with my ult when they ping." and then they get mad at you when you have no idea what they're saying. Don't get me wrong, I do like the game, it's just really hard for beginners like me.

    Compare the steep learning curve of TFC where you have to master grenade jumping with every class just to compete with how easy it is to pick up TF2. So hopefully Valve will do something similar with DoTA, and make it accessible.

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