Valve has posted an announcement today that has canceled the annual winter event Frostivus for Dota 2.
The cancellation of Frostivus comes on the heels of Valve’s decision to also cancel the annual Halloween event known as Diretide for the popular multiplayer game back in October, a decision that let to outcry in the community. Thankfully, the reasoning behind these decisions has been put into perspective with the reveal that the game is receiving an major internal revision to its engine that has made executing these events a simple causality to resources.
In a very brief post on the Dota 2 Official Blog, the development team shed light on the cause of the recent seasonal event cancellations:
As we mentioned in September, there are a number of features in the works for Dota 2 that we’re really excited to share with you. Among them is a major improvement to Dota 2’s engine that we are aiming to release in the first half of next year. One of the main features in this engine improvement will be the ability to rapidly create entirely new game modes. You’ve seen some of this work with the Dota 2 Workshop Tools Alpha that began earlier this year. In the past, our Diretide and Frostivus updates contained game modes that were very time consuming to build and maintain, and would need to be rebuilt from the ground up after the release of the engine update.
With Diretide this year, we decided that it didn’t make sense to build another one of those resource-intensive game modes, for two reasons. The first was that the mode would quickly become obsolete when the engine changes arrive, and the second was that building it would have taken resources away from the work that needed to be done to ship the engine change itself. Now that Frostivus is on the horizon, we find ourselves facing a similar choice and, after some thought, we believe that once again the right choice is to not develop a Frostivus game mode.
This doesn’t mean that you won’t see interesting updates from us before the engine improvement goes out next year. We are already hard at work on our next major update, the New Bloom Festival in February, although we will continue to avoid building new game modes until the engine improvements come along.
Making these improvements to the engine should provide long-term benefits to help Valve build and provide new events in a much more timely manner, but makes a sacrifice of players fun in the present. The news is also of particular interest as it could mean we will be seeing some more information on Source Engine 2 cropping up when the update comes along.
Back in August, several dedicated users noticed differences in Dota 2‘s code when it released an mod tool update, leading many to believe that some of its internals were being converted to a new engine being developed by Valve. As the post notes, we’ve “seen some of this work with the Dota 2 Workshop Tools Alpha that began earlier this year,” supporting the theory that this may indeed be related to an eventual engine reveal and complete conversion to the new tool. Whether that is what is happening here or not, look for more news regarding the changes coming to Dota 2 as the update comes closer to completion next year.