In a post on the official blog, Dota 2 developer IceFrog has announced that fan feedback has caused Valve to rethink their plans for Dota 2's release. In a decidely un-Valve move, they've decided to push the release of the game forward.
Yep, you read that right. Thanks to the hordes of folks who are eager to get their hands on Dota 2, the developer will be sending an incarnation of the game out the door as quickly as possible. The original plan was to wait a year or so until the entire DOTA roster had been incorporated into the sequel, then push out a full release. As IceFrog eloquently puts it, the scale of the recent leaks has convinced the team that this approach was "dumb".
Now they're planning to push the current version of Dota 2, with the 46 character roster we saw during The International, into an invite-only beta as soon as they can. Shortly after that, IceFrog hopes, they'll open the game up to the broader public. All the while, Valve plans to keep shipping regular updates to the game, adding new heroes, features, and balance adjustments.
It's unclear whether this new strategy invalidates Valve CEO Gabe Newell's statements at Gamescom, which had Dota 2's release pegged for sometime during 2012. There's also still no word on how Valve will monetize the game, though the decision to release the game incrementally lends credence to the theory that the game will be follow the free to play, microtransaction-driven model currently used by League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth.