Online game company Nexon has partnered with Valve to publish the company's free-to-play PC game Dota 2 in both Korea and Japan, where Nexon has a much bigger presence than the developer.
This announcement comes just two months after rumors circulated that Nexon and fellow Korean online game publisher NCsoft were in talks to purchase Valve in a nearly $900 million deal, but all of the companies later denied those rumors.
Though Valve is one the biggest game developers and publishers in the West, and operates popular digital distribution platform Steam, Nexon has built up expertise in launching free-to-play titles to Korea and Japan, where it maintains a significant presence with titles like MapleStory and Dungeon Fighter Online.
Dota 2 will be one of the first free-to-play titles that Valve will launch (the company's Team Fortress 2 is also free-to-play and has generated plenty of revenue, but it originally shipped as a paid game). Like other multiplayer online battle arena releases, Dota 2 is geared for e-sports play, a market that's huge in Korea.
Valve and Nexon have previously partnered to co-develop and publish the upcoming Counter-Strike Online 2, a free-to-play entry for Valve's popular first-person shooter, designed specifically for Asian market. Nexon will publish the title in Japan, Korea, China, and other regions throughout Southeast Asia.