Blizzard And Valve Stop Fighting, Make Peace Over DoTA Dispute

Two of gaming's best and most beloved video game studios are no longer squabbling about the word DoTA. The makers of World of Warcraft and the creators of Half-Life jointly announced in a blast to the press today that they have reached "a mutual agreement regarding concerns over names of upcoming products."

Peace in our time!

The agreement: Valve will still be making a game called DOTA 2 and use the DOTA term commercially (translation: on things you can buy). Blizzard will keep using the term non-commercially for Warcraft III and StarCraft II maps.

Blizzard is changing the name of its planned Blizzard DOTA custom game in StarCraft II, which will now be called Blizzard All-Stars. That name, Blizzard's Rob Pardo said, "better reflects the design of our game."

This resolves what was becoming an ugly trademark dispute between two fan-favourite game studios.

The DoTA term, short for "Defense of the Ancients", was a fan-made mod that was made in 2003 for Blizzard's Warcraft III. It involved a specific multiplayer game-type that involved players protecting opposing waves of minions. DoTA games have been surging in popularity thank to games such as League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth. Valve entered the fray in 2010, raising eyebrows with their intent to team up with a top DoTA developer to make a game they'd call DoTA 2. They began pursuing a trademark of the DoTA term. Blizzard objected and recently tried to block the trademark, a few months after announcing that it was making its own official Blizzard DoTA game featuring characters from the companies popular series like World of Warcraft and Diablo.

It was getting awkward. Valve was issuing complaints like this to the US government's trademark office: "Valve seeks to appropriate the more than seven years of goodwill that Blizzard has developed in the mark DOTA and in its Warcraft III computer game and take for itself a name that has come to signify the product of years of time and energy expended by Blizzard and by fans of Warcraft III."

Now it seems resolved between these too heavyweights.

Blizzard's Pardo: "Both Blizzard and Valve recognise that, at the end of the day, players just want to be able to play the games they're looking forward to, so we're happy to come to an agreement that helps both of us stay focused on that."

Valve's Gabe Newell: "We're pleased that we could come to an agreement with Blizzard without drawing things out in a way that would benefit no one. We both want to focus on the things our fans care about, creating and shipping great games for our communities."

League of Legends creators' at Riot Games have previously said that they'd object to Valve trademarking DoTA. Kotaku has reached out to Riot to clarify where they stand on this matter and will update when we hear back.

Top photo: Gorbachev and Reagan, Dec. 8, 1987 | Bob Daugherty, Associated Press


    The "Valve seeks to appropriate..." complaint is from Blizzard, but the article says it's a quote from Valve.

    Anyway, this is good to hear. I think this was the optimal resolution and I'm glad both parties are happy with it.

    Interesting that Blizzard ceded the rights for commercial releases... I'm wondering though, will the Valve game be called 'Defence of the Ancients 2, or just DOTA 2'? Seems like a significant distinction, no?

    Still find this confusing, Guinsoo created DotA, he should have the copyright. Seems pretty simple.

      Ahh no he didn't
      Euls did and he works at Valve.
      Guinsoo was responsible for severely messing up the games balance and nearly ruined it. When Icefrog took over he pretty much balanced the crap out of the game. Taking a look at LoL you can see he's not doing a good job there either

        I don't find LoL to be imbalanced when playing in a team game, it is just the community that makes certain champions broken.

        Having a mentally handicapped team mate feed mid ten six kills in the first ten minutes and then saying "damn that ult is op" isn't very logical (yet it always seems to come up) when it would have done much less if you were on the same level in terms of abilities and equipment. Leagues problem stems directly from the fact that its community is a steaming pile of crap that is so full of itself you never make it past champion select without someone either A) choosing troll hero B)calling a lane that is clearly taken by a hero that specialises in said role, who then claims they will feed if they don't get what they want or C) people trying to tell you that you are noob for choosing kayle as carry because she is "only a support".

        I have stopped playing solo queue all together thanks to the general D-bags that make up the League community and can honestly say that if it weren't for the general trolling going on I wouldn't be in the elo bracket I am currently. That is not to say I think I am pro, but I probably should still be between 12-1400 and not sub 1k.

          A someone who's never played either game before, I've just got to award you on the most opaque and indecipherable comment I've ever read. Don't get me wrong, not an insult. But this genre's created its own language.

          there are so many D bags in Dota, LOL, Dota 2 etc. nobody is willing to help you learn then just abuse the shit out of someone. instead of giving helpful hints and pointers. It just divulges into insults which makes the situation even worse. Now that I have reasonable grasp of how to play these days i always try and help new players out give suggestions if they are struggling. wish others would to.

      Trademarks and copyright are different things. Copyright is held automatically by the author of a work, and only covers the actual content of the work. So the actual game code, the story, artwork, music etc. Trademarks are basically for names and titles and things that are used in a trade context. Because DOTA is a mod and was therefore never sold, the devs can't get a trademark over the name. Valve are making a new game, obviously with the intention of selling it, and so are entitled to apply for legal protection of that name.

    This is the first im hearing of blizzard releasing their own version of it.. or any MOBA... But i can say with 100% confidence if they did do a MOBA game they'd ruin it. Probably by making it so you get skills at each level pre-determined. and all items are automatically purchased when you get enough gold.

    Simply put. Blizzard has no intentions of letting their customers choose for themselves, instead blizzard forces THEIR WAY down your throat giving you 0 customization and 0 control over your game. This is how it's been in Blizzard games for a good 2 years+

    The only things they have released over the last EIGHT years are Starcraft (A game that supports custom maps) and WoW + expansions (which is an mmo with custom private servers).

    I know I will probably get flamed by every pre-pubescent virgin that frequents this site (not saying they all are, but the ones most likely to defend a girl normally are), but you know nothing of what you are talking about and probably only left that message because the interwebs told you bashing on big business is the cool thing to do.

      Bashing on big business makes sense at the moment look at what big business has done to the world. Now as for Activision Blizzard it's a fair assesment that the companys games have been providing limited customization recently and look to lower it further into the future. Wow has made very few advancements to customization. The major one I can think of is transmoging which came far to late in its expansion patch cycle to make a mark. I'm not going to flame you but when forming an opinion it does help validate it to back it up with knowledge on the subject at hand which you seem to lack.

      Starcraft 2 custom maps are a disappointment if they had had a games list instead of "Popular" list people would have been more creative. As it stands now good mods go unnoticed since they will always be at the bottom of the popular list.

    "It involved a specific multiplayer game-type that involved players protecting opposing waves of minions"

    We protect the enemies minions now? I thought we tried to last-hit them for gold.

    Im fairly new to this genre and loving it. I think it has a very passionate an angry community. I hope that as I get better ill help the noobs out instead of threatening the noobs to be reported. Anyway, love lol I find it balanced but every user is better with some than others.. Go Ashe!

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