August 9, 2010 by Paul Curtin
One of the most popular user-created mods of all time, second only to Counter-Strike, is a Warcraft III custom game called “Defense of the Ancients” aka DotA. Created back in 2002 with Warcraft III‘s map editor, DotA has become just as popular as Warcraft III itself, and evolved tremendously over the years as its fanbase has grown by the millions. As the game grew in both content and popularity, different developers stepped in to take over and improve the game, with IceFrog being the most influential. After taking over DotA in 2005, IceFrog made much needed fixes and additions to the game which were responsible for the game’s huge growth in players and overall success.
Unfortunately, while DotA is constantly updated to fix balance issues, bugs, and add new heroes and weapons, the game is stuck using the Warcraft III client, which prevents it from truly evolving into its own game. After some drama over creative differences between the developers, IceFrog left DotA and was hired by Valve, the publisher behind popular titles and user-created mods such as Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, Portal and Team Fortress. Other developers also went on to bigger and better things and numerous games have been made using DotA‘s gameplay style — most notably Demigod, Heroes of Newerth, and League of Legends.
Although Gas Powered Games’ Demigod was a huge failure, S2 Games’ Heroes of Newerth (HoN) and Riot Games’ League of Legends (LoL) have been widely successful and have split the DotA community, with many players leaving to play the stand-alone games that offer updated features and improvements that Warcraft III‘s DotA could never offer.
Since stepping down as a DotA developer and being hired by Valve in 2009, there has been much speculation over what IceFrog could be working on. Today, it seems like voice actor John St. John (Duke Nukem) has just dropped a big hint via his twitter account saying:
Had a great time in Seattle last week recording for DotA. The guys at Valve Software are awesome! Going to PAX? Might see you there – Sept3-5
Valve and IceFrog have yet to comment on what project they’ve been working on since IceFrog was hired, but it looks like a true sequel to DotA is in the works. While alternative games like HoN and LoL offer an updated DotA with improved graphics, gameplay mechanics and a better game client, it’s exciting news for any DotA fan that Valve doesn’t have IceFrog on another project and is in-fact using him to create a real sequel to one of the best user-created mods of all time.