Valve’s First Original Game in Years Is A Cross Between ‘Dota 2’ and ‘Overwatch’

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Key Takeaways

  • Reporters have confirmed that Valve is working on a new game, Deadlock.
  • It's a blend between lane-based MOBA games like Dota 2 and hero shooters like Overwatch.
  • The game is still in early testing.

Valve has been developing its first original in-house game in years, Deadlock, and it’s a blend between some of the best-known multiplayer titles.

As Engadget noted, creator Gabe Follower and reporter Tyler McVicker have learned that Valve is now testing the game in closed alpha shortly before a formal announcement.

Deadlock is a blend between hero shooters like Overwatch and lane-based MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) games like Valve’s own Dota 2. It mixes fantasy elements with steampunk.

There appear to be a few twists on the formula.  “Transit lines” would let players quickly jump between lanes, and there’s also a mention of a “hero sandbox.”

We’ve asked Valve for comment and will let you know if we get a response. The project has reportedly been in development since 2018 by IceFrog, associated with the original Dota mod for Warcraft.

Valve got its start developing games like Half-Life and Portal, but its own titles have largely taken a back seat to growing its Steam game store and working on the Steam Deck handheld. Its most recent games, the VR-only Half-Life: Alyx and Counter-Strike 2, are sequels or spinoffs of existing properties. Even Artifact, its ill-received card game, was based on the Dota 2 universe.

Deadlock signals Valve’s renewed interest both in creating ambitious games and maintaining its foothold in EsportsDota 2 is still a popular title whose competitive scene culminates in the live The International tournament, but its user base is on the decline. It peaked at 709,000 simultaneous players in 2016, and is now down to 435,000, according to

A major new title like Deadlock could help Valve reclaim some of that activity and its prominence in Esports. The challenge may be to appeal to players who are already comfortable with games in adjacent genres, including Dota 2OverwatchValorant, and others. They might not switch if they already have an established community