DOTA 2 is free to play, 'DOTA Store' open now and selling beta access

Valve confirmed tonight that DOTA 2, its upcoming MOBA and guaranteed Basshunter reminder, will be free to play. But don't worry, you'll still spend plenty of money on it, as Valve simultaneously announced an in-game DOTA Store, which will sell items created both by Valve staff and by users in the Steam Workshop. The store will sell items, but not heroes – "We believe restricting player access to heroes could be destructive to game design, so it's something we plan to avoid," the team said on the official site.

The store opened tonight, and offers a $39.99 "Early Access Bundle" of in-game items that also lets the buyer into the ongoing beta. It'll be free to play when the game officially launches this year, but you can buy access to it now. That's something to think about tonight.
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Introducing the Dota Store and Steam Workshop Integration

May 31, 2012 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today confirmed that Dota 2 will be free to play and announced the Dota Store in preparation for the game's release.
Upon its opening, the Dota Store will offer items created by Valve and members of the community that may be used immediately and carried over after the public launch of the game. Early Access to the game is not required to purchase items before launch. However, gamers may get into the game now by purchasing the Dota 2 Early Access Bundle of items.
"The opening of the Dota Store is a big part of our final push to launch," said IceFrog, design lead on Dota 2. "With support for the Steam Workshop, the majority of the items made available on day one were created and being sold by members of the community. By making the game Free to Play, we hope to give gamers the ability to decide how - and how much - they want to invest in the game."
Targeted for full release on the PC later this year, Dota 2 promises to take the unique blend of online RTS and RPG action that has made Dota popular with tens of millions of gamers around the world.
Later this summer Valve will host the International Dota 2 Championships 2012 in Seattle, WA.
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This article was originally published on Joystiq.