Fresh from a ground-up reboot, Blizzard DOTA is looking to be the centerpiece for a new Indie Marketplace-style distribution platform called “Blizzard Arcade”. Originally manifesting as the StarCraft 2 marketplace, a distribution model for user-created mods and maps, the current plan for Arcade is to expand the user creation marketplace to include all content made with the SC2 engine. Currently there is no need to buy StarCraft 2 to gain access to Arcade, but it will need to be downloaded on its own for free, or as part of the StarCraft 2 Starter Edition.
“We haven’t figured out the details,” Samwise Didier, Senior Art Director at Blizzard explained in an interview with Joystiq, “But there will be a free-to-play Blizzard DOTA on our Blizzard Arcade. We don’t know how many heroes there will be, or how many maps, but we definitely want to make sure that everyone knows it will be free-to-play.”
Current estimates place a release date for the Blizzard Arcade sometime around the launch of StarCraft 2: Heart of the Swarm.