Valve, the creators of Dota 2, have issued a stern directive to custom game creators. The company’s legal team has dispatched emails asking these developers to cease all forms of monetization by August 17, 2023. The decision makes a big change in how creators interact with Valve’s gaming platform.
Dota 2, widely known for its vibrant custom game scene, offers an “Arcade Menu” where players can access unique, user-created games. Notably, this is the platform where the mega-popular game “Auto Chess” was born. Despite the creativity and community engagement these custom games promote, Valve has drawn a firm line regarding the commercial use of their Dota Workshop tools.
For the unaware, custom games are available in the Dota 2's arcade menu. That's where auto chess came from.
Second screenshot shows an example of an in-game shop in one of the custom games. pic.twitter.com/Hl9fvQ3zYB
— Pavel Djundik (@thexpaw) August 4, 2023
The notice sent by Valve’s lawyers covers an expansive list of monetization methods, including third-party payment systems, battle passes, subscriptions, virtual items, currencies, and skins. The creators have been urged to not only halt sales of such things immediately but also report the scope of their monetization activities by the given deadline, breaking it down by territory and payment method.
This directive stems from the fact that the license provided for the Dota Workshop tools is strictly non-commercial. Developers have found ways to monetize their creations, but this has been in a legally grey area. Valve’s latest action brings a hard stop to these practices, demanding compliance from creators and threatening potential repercussions for those who do not adhere to the terms.