Dota 2

Dota 2 is heading to Asia.

“Freemium” publishing guru Nexon (MapleStory) is partnering with Valve Corporation (Portal, Half-Life) to publish the Defense of the Ancients sequel in both Korea and Japan.

The original Defense of the Ancients, is a free-to-play mod for the real-time strategy game, Warcraft III. This birthed the “multiplayer online battle arena” genre of games such as League of Legends. Upon release, the original quickly established a presence in e-sports tournaments worldwide, including BlizzCon and the Cyberathlete Amateur and CyberEvolution leagues.

A 2008 Gamasutra feature, “Defense of the Ancients – An Underground Revolution,” noted that “DOTA is likely the most popular and most-discussed free, nonsupported game mod in the world, judging by the numbers.”

Considering that DOTA also was featured at the annual World Cyber Games (operated by the eponymous South Korean company and sponsored by South Korean stalwart, Samsung Electronics), it’s no wonder the sequel found its way to Asia.

Dota 2’s release date is TBA, but it’s already created a bit of a stir. Enigmatic designer “IceFrog” will contribute to the game, which uses Valve’s proprietary Source engine.

Interested parties can sign up for a “Free Dota 2 Invite” on the official blog: