After a lot rumors it's finally official, Dota 2 will be free to play (F2P) according to the interview The Verge
recently had with Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve. Nevell was very direct about it when he said:
It's going to be free-to-play -- it'll have some twists, but that's the easiest way for people to think about it.Source: The Verge
He wasn't very specific about the way the F2P model will be implemented into Dota 2, but he stated that they are still finding the the best solution to reward "likable"
players and players who are important to the community, from those who are not. Here is a part of what he said:
The issue that we're struggling with quite a bit is something I've kind of talked about before, which is how do you properly value people's contributions to a community?
We're trying to figure out ways so that people who are more valuable to everybody else [are] recognized and accommodated. We all know people where if they're playing we want to play, and there are other people where if they're playing we would [rather] be on the other side of the planet.
It's just a question of coming up with mechanisms that recognize and reward people who are doing things that are valuable to other groups of people.Source: The Verge
It's no surprise that Valve decided to use the F2P model for Dota 2, especially if we look at the competition. League of Legends is probably one of the pioneers with their F2P model and all of us can only praise their decision and success. But also Heroes of Newerth has immensely increased their player base because it switched from the pay to play model to F2P. Both of these games are using a similar F2P model in which they are limiting the number of heroes/champions you can play each week. The question still remains, will Valve go the same path and limit the number of playable heroes, or will they allow you to play with all heroes and add micro-transactions for different parts of the game. If Valve wants to stand out from the competition and make the game more e-sports friendly, they should absolutely take the later path. Looking at Nevell's statements it sure looks like that is exactly what they will do