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Valve asks Dota 2 players to stop monetizing their custom games

Valve continues cracking down on unofficial monetization practices in its games, this time for its decade-old MOBA, Dota 2.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

August 7, 2023

1 Min Read
Promo art for Tinker in Valve's Dota 2.

Several custom games for Dota 2 have gone offline after Valve asked players to put an end to the monetization within those modes. 

As spotted by PCGamer, SteamDB creator Pavel Djundik revealed creators of these modes were contacted by Valve in recent weeks. The developer's notice requested their custom monetization be shut down by next Thursday, August 17. 

"The license provided for the DOTA Workshop is strictly non-commercial," reads Valve's notice. "We have to ask that you stop selling virtual items for your custom game immediately and report to us the scope of your monetization, broken down by territory and payment method."

Notably, this extends to player-made battle passes (which Valve officially ended in June), subscriptions, and even third-party payment methods. Dota 2's workshop has been around for years, and several of its games allow for players to pay for items using real world money via Patreon or PayPal.

While plenty of online games like the Halo series allow for player-made modes to be created and shared by the community, not all of them let players make money off them. It presents a potential legal issue if things were to get out of control, which may explain why Valve has suddenly cracked down. 

Valve used to be hands-off with the Workshop's monetization, like it was for similar economies within Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Team Fortress 2. But this and the recent focus by Twitch to curb gambling in Counter-Strike signify a change Valve and unofficial money-making ways.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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