A slide showing the “Expanding Blizzard Portfolio” included columns for World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Warcraft, the new MMO codenamed Titan, and a sixth column: Blizzard DOTA, listing a release for both “Retail and Battle.net“.
Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime later confirmed that the game will be released as a free-to-play online title. Blizzard DOTA is currently in development using the StarCraft II engine, based on the popular MOBA gameplay style.
Morhaime pointedly explains that – in order to “distinguish it from competitors”, Blizzard DOTA will use heroes from across Blizzard‘s sizeable back-catalogue of games. It’s a reference to Valve‘s upcoming DOTA 2 and Riot Games‘ already-popular League of Legends, both of which are based on the original DOTA gameplay.
It’s an understandable snark – DOTA evolved out of a mod for Warcraft III, based on a map from StarCraft. All three games may well jostle for place on the virtual shelves later this year, when all eyes will be watching to see who comes out on top.