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Valve has cut Dota 2 royalties, and workshop creators are crying foul

There’s unrest in Dota 2’s community this week, as several artists responsible for many of the free-to-play game’s popular cosmetic items allege that Steam owner and Dota 2 developer Valve Software has systematically reduced their earnings and may be permanently damaging the long-term viability of Dota 2’s business model.

Dota 2 is completely free to play — all characters and mechanics are available to every player. Valve makes its money through the sale of in-game cosmetic items — colloquially referred to “hats” or “skins” by the community. Among other things, these cosmetic items give heroes completely new appearances.

The majority of these alternate skins are created by independent creators or teams who submit their designs via…

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