'Portal' and 'Left 4 Dead' developers preparing own free-to-play game

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The Independent Tech

When asked whether his company is working on its own free games, Valve's VP of Marketing replied with a one-word answer: "Yes."

Speaking to French site Barre de Vie, he underlined the significance of the free play model. "Free to play is already making more money than traditional games in some parts of the world," he said, referring to the fact that players can purchase additional items in-game.

Valve itself has just launched a free-to-play section on its Steam download store, with Champions Online, Forgotten Realms, and Spiral Knights among the first titles to go up and Valve handling in-game transactions.

Of Valve's known internal projects, DOTA 2 seems the most likely candidate, given that its predecessor Defense of the Ancients is a free custom map for Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne.

League of Legends is another game in the same mold, inspired by DOTA and available for the low, low price of nothing - extra characters and costumes are where money is made - and DOTA owes its own existence in part to the wildly popular StarCraft.

Though StarCraft itself was proposed as a standard retail game, Activision Blizzard opted to offer its 2010 sequel at both retail and as a digital download, with subscription options in some parts of the world including South America and South Korea.

Original interview (in French): barredevie.com/2529

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