DOTA 2 International Compendium Raises Over $ 2 Million (But In Suspicious Circumstances)

While we would like to congratulate Valve on another successful Compendium campaign, we have to question the changes they have done this year.

Valve is preparing for the annual DOTA 2 tournament again, known as the International. This year, however, Valve may have been up to something questionable with the funding on the game.

First, a brief explanation: Valve sells a product to coincide with the tournament called the Compendium. These are digital books that give update online with information on the tournament as well as other features, like placing bets, making your own fantasy leagues, predictions, access to matches, etc.

They sell for $ 10, and $ 2.50 from each compendium sold goes to the tournament’s prize pool. Fans also get many additional benefits, including new stages and items, when they raise enough money to hit certain tiered goals. To a certain degree, this is already a crowdfund, although it is at a very limited capacity, since the rewards (aka development goals) are relatively small.

This year, Valve has taken it to the next level, gating game modes behind some of these goals. In particular, raising $ 2.9 million will open up Random Deathmatch mode to all players, and raising $ 5 million will fund work on a new Matchmaking mode. This mode will be midlane only, 1 versus 1. If funded, both modes will be available to everyone, not just Compendium owners.

It would seem Valve looked at last year’s results, as the Compendium raised as much as $ 2.8 million, just one tier short of funding all their intended goals. Now, individual players can spend above $ 10 on their compendium levels, and upgrading will get you more XP. Here’s a look at the payment options:

·         For $ 2.49, you get 500 points

·         For $ 4.99, you get 1100 points

·         For $ 9.99, you get 2400 points

Again, there are no spending limits here, and some claim individuals are already spending over $ 400 for their compendiums.

Now, DOTA 2 fans may say all of this is OK, and certainly, Valve has set things up so that everyone benefits, not just the funders. However, the question arises here as to whether its OK to raise funds in this way. Valve could have arranged for funding in different ways, even set up their own crowdfund, but tying it up to their tournament places a lot of pressure on people watching the tournament, perhaps pressure that shouldn’t come to bear on them at all.

As of this writing, Valve has raised $ 2,150,446, and it’s only been a few hours, so it’s a definite success. However, one wonders if Valve did the right thing by funding major development goals in this way. Tell us how you feel about it in the comments below.