Valve has mentioned in the Dota 2 blog that they want to release the game as soon as they can. Their original plan was to release the game next year but looks like that has changed. Currently, Valve is doing a closed beta for the game.
Icefrog, who works at Valve had this to say,
Our original plan was to spend the next year or so in beta, adding new features and slowly growing the number of heroes until we reached a level of parity with Dota 1, at which point we’d release Dota 2 to the world.
“But the feedback we’re seeing everywhere is that people just want to play it, even though there’s still a ton of heroes yet to be implemented. We’ve also seen that the folks who are already in the beta are chomping at the bit to show everyone else some of the fun games they’ve had. So we decided our original plan was dumb.
“Welcome to the new plan: We’re going to take the current version of Dota 2, which has The International set of heroes, and get it out there as fast as we can. We’ve still got some work to do in a couple of areas, so we’ll be keeping it invite-only for a (hopefully short) period of time. But there’ll be no restrictions on what players can do with it – they can release screenshots, make movies, shoutcast matches, write guides, publicly make fun of our HUD, or anything else their hearts desire. While they do that, we’ll be shipping regular updates with more heroes, new features we’ve been working on, and improvements on the existing content as we get more and more feedback.”
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