Valve has officially announced (thanks Hogfather) that their two year beta is now over for free-to-play MOBA title Dota 2, with the ability for anyone to now play the game without the need to produce a beta key.
Currently Valve are staging the release of the game with a launch queue in hopes of limiting server instability and crashes. Those who have previously participated in the beta are able to log in at anytime, however those who are new to Dota 2 will be placed into a queue and will be notified when they are "in" and able to play.
Like we mentioned before, the launch of Dota 2 is going to take on a different shape than products we've shipped in the past. Our thinking is that we want the existing audience have uninterrupted access during the launch, in addition to bringing new players into Dota 2 in a way that isn't frustrating. Simply put, we want to smooth out the traditional launch spike, but at the same time allow anyone to come in and try out Dota 2.
Dota 2's user base is already larger than any game we've ever made, and it continues to grow. Knowing this launch moment was coming, we've spent the past year working on getting both the backend infrastructure and new user experience into a state where we can welcome in anyone that wants to give the game a try. With that work now complete, it is time for us to invite anyone and everyone to come play.
To find more on what Valve are doing in anticipation of the launch you can check out their blog post
, which also includes a very interesting overview of their server setups for the game. For those looking to jump into the game you can find it on Steam completely free.