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Dota Underlords trademark filed by Valve

Underlord, as he appears in Dota 2.

Valve has applied for a trademark for Dota Underlords; it's definitely a game, but there's not much more information available beyond that. The application was filed earlier this month and categorises Dota Underlords under computer game software, electronic game software and video game software. 

With the lacklustre reception to Artifact and Valve's decision to pause the card game spin-off, it's a surprise to see them moving onto a new game, if that's what it is. But it could equally be related to Artifact. In March, Valve's Jeep Barnett told players that the team would be putting their heads down and fixing the game instead of releasing updates, so maybe Underlords is Artifact 2.0. 

In Dota 2, the Underlord Vrogros is a playable hero and leader of the Abyssal Horde, a nasty bunch of subterranean conquerors. He's a bad dude and wants to swallow up the overworld and enslave everyone. It's a pretty genetic title, so it might have nothing to do with Vrogros, but a game exploring Dota's magma-filled underground realm doesn't sound too far-fetched. 

I'm rather partial to Andy Kelly's prediction, which is that it will be a Diablo-style dungeon crawler. Certainly, the description of the Abyssal Horde's stomping grounds sounds like a fertile setting for an ARPG.

Got any convincing theories? 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.