Last week it was revealed the Valve had filed an application to trademark "DotA," the acronym for the popular community-developed Warcraft III mod, Defense of the Ancients. This caused great concern within the DotA community over its future influence and input into the development of the mod. This week two Riot Games employees are trying to do something about it.
In an interview with PC Gamer, Riot Games’ Steve "Guinsoo" Feak and Steve "Pendragon" Mescon revealed that they are exploring options to protect the DotA name. The duo have filed a "Defense of the Ancients" trademark application under Dota-Allstars, LLC – the company run by Mescon – to protect "the work that dozens of authors have invested to create the game and on behalf of the millions of DotA players all over the world."
Feak and Mescon, whose first game – League of Legends – is heavily influenced by Defence of the Ancients (DotA),worked on the most popular variation of the mod, DotA Allstars. The duo isn’t out to spread hate about Valve – they actually have a lot of respect for the company:
"As someone who worked with DotA for years, seeing developers of Valve’s calibre take an interest in this genre is always exciting," said Steve "Pendragon" Mescon. "However, the idea that one single company is taking control of the name of something that hundreds of people have contributed to is surprising."
"I believe DotA should always remain a community-owned product that modders, independent developers and game fans can continue to modify and play as often as they’d like," he added.
Mescon went on to say that he gives Valve the benefit of the doubt because of the company’s history with the mod community, but says that his key concern is that, in taking ownership of the name, there is a real possibility that the community would no longer be able to contribute to DotA like they have for years.
Valve has not officially announced a DotA game, for the record. The company has hired Defence of the Ancients designer "IceFrog" and voice actor Jon St John (who made a public statement that he did some voice work on a DotA game).
The goal of this filing, according to Mescon, is to keep the development of the mod in the community with no strings attached. Hopefully Valve and the community can work something out that is beneficial to all – when they finally announce their game..