The time is coming for Dota to lose the majority of its supporting players. With new free to play MOBA games coming out all the time and poor server planning from the Dota IT as well as Steam, Dota players are finally throwing in the towel. My Dota 2 Facebook group has dropped in numbers and nearly every one I knew who used to play Dota, which was around 20+ people, I only ever play with 2 of them online now. This is a huge sign that the days of Dota 2 are numbered.
For the most part, it is the lack of consistency with the servers that have discouraged many of my former Dota buddies. They have found other games where the servers are stable and there is no coordinator that crashed two to three times per week.
From what I am being told is that they are surprised that there are games out there that actually look after there IT systems to make sure players continually have stable connections. Dota 2 is not at all like this with the servers regularly down, disconnects commonplace, and the Steam co-ordinator is quite frankly a joke.
I love Dota 2, but when I hear of my friends finding games that earn probably not even a fraction of what Valve earns for Dota that are providing better IT, I begin to wonder. I have to admit it has been hard for me to give up Dota. It is one of those games you love to hate and it is so addictive. I think the Dota management team realise this and probably play on it instead dedicating their budget elsewhere.
With the amount of money that Dota does make, and having an IT background, I would take a wild guess and say that the IT team are under a lot of pressure working with a poor budget. That is to say that the budget is not enough to accommodate the large number of players that play Dota.
Maybe what this could be is a sign that even Dota know that their days are numbered. It is highly unlikely, in all honesty – more to the point is that Valve is penny-pinching. If that is true, then it is very shortsighted. However, maybe they don’t care because they have made their money already.
There are plenty of examples of large companies in this world that have been too complacent and lost their place in the industry. Kodak is one example as the company failed to see the new emergence of digital storage for photographs as well as the fact that print tech was also evolving and able to print photographs. Although, nowadays Kodak has done a good job of recovering from this oversight.
Probably a better example and a little closer to home as this are related to the gaming industry is Atari. Where did the company go? Complacency was also Atari’s downfall. Yet again though, after huge losses, Atari has made a comeback as the company managed to diversify into the online casino marketplace.
Valve will almost certainly face a similar issue. Currently, the latest battle pass may be suggesting otherwise as the Dota 2 marketing team attempts to encourage more people to sign up this year in order to surpass last year’s prize pool. The target right now is $20 million.
If Dota 2 does hit that $20 million target, it is highly unlikely with the current state of affairs and the bad reputation of the game that it will get past this figure again.
Another point worth noting is that even though numbers may seem to be increasing, this is mainly young kids trialling the game. Now I am a 39-year-old adult that plays Dota and all my friends are of a similar age give or take 5 years. We have jobs and money. However, the new generation coming through will be kids with no money and will rarely be able to make a decision to spend money on Dota.
Let’s face it too, most parents hate or even ban their kids from playing Dota because the game is so addictive. This is currently what the future holds for Dota. Those kids will be exposed to so many new games and new marketing techniques to encourage them to play the newer games, that eventually they will inevitably be dragged away from Dota.
Even if Dota does take a hold of the younger generation, they will soon find games that have better IT systems and take a preference to those games. Overall, it looks like this is the beginning of the end for Dota as no fix or solution to the huge number of IT problems in the game seems to be in sight. Or at least we can safely say the same old issues are continually occurring.