Enthusiasm for Dota 2 is steadily growing as more and more participants are invited into the beta. Dota 2 regularly features on Steam's most played list, but those numbers are nothing compared to the number of Dota fans worldwide. One of the biggest international markets is China. Tim spoke to Doug Lombardi recently about Valve's plans to bring Dota 2 to Chinese audiences.
"You've got to address that market, it's the biggest DOTA population in the world, right?" he said. The problem is that Valve can't release Steam in China. Publishers need make distribution deals with Chinese companies to gain access to that vast player base. Valve have previously teamed up with Nexon to release Counter-Strike Online in Asia. Now they're looking to forge a similar deal for Dota 2.
"We're actively looking for a partner to work with over there," Lombardi said. "It's pretty cut and dry - you need a Chinese partner to be in China, period."
Lombardi describes the prospect of a Chinese release of Steam as "a whole different ball of wax." A more likely scenario would have Steam tech powering a Chinese service to keep the Asian version of Dota 2 updated.
"It's thorny and it's something that is new for us," Lombardi admitted. "But it's mandatory if we want DOTA to succeed so we're on it and various senior people have been to China many times in the past few months."
Valve haven't announced whether or not Dota 2 will be free to play or not, but a fan has delved into Dota 2 beta files and turned up a number of references to items, announcer packs, loot buffs and other items that would be perfect for a Dota 2 item store .