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Yesterday we made this statement.

As of 2013-01-25 09:30:00 UTC, Valve has completely taken away our current method of gathering data. This means we are no longer able to get new matches, download replays, qualify aggregates, or properly calculate any other stats (like hero winrates).

While we understand the privacy concerns Valve might have with all data being publicly available, we believe the approach they are taking now is completely wrong. They are trying to force us to use the WebAPI, but there’s some serious downsides to it:

  • Since the privacy option is private by default, most of the matches have no playerid, or 1 at most in them (the value is -1). This means we can’t calculate any accurate rankings for any players, even if their profile is public.
  • They have removed the crucial part which makes up the replay url. Replay downloading and parsing was one of our biggest features (both existing and upcoming), which we spent months developing.
  • When Valve launched the WebAPI (in July), it crashed or got shut down every few days, and wasn’t usable at all. They turned it off completely, and it hasn’t been up for the last 6 months. They have clearly shown the API isn’t a priority for them, and it doesn’t allow us to build a website on top of it.
  • The WebAPI only came up yesterday, which means even if we wanted to switch to it, we had no time to test and implement it.

We believe there are better privacy alternatives than the one Valve implemented. For example, we had a privacy feature ready to launch today (see screenshots below), which completely removes your profile from our website, while still allowing us to serve accurate statistics to the rest of the community.

We have tried to keep an open dialogue with Valve over the last 6 months (they were aware of our upcoming features well beforehand), but apparently they are not interested in communicating with community websites.

We have invested a lot of our time and own money in trying to make Dotabuff one of the best sites out there, and we are absolutely devastated.

If you would like to express your opinion about this situation, contact Valve and let them know how you feel.

Here are screenshots of our privacy setting, which was set to launch today:


For Plus users

Thank you for your tremendous support. We are hopeful that this situation can still be resolved. If we are able to come back online we will be crediting accounts for downtime. Refunds will be honored - email if you would like a refund. Thank you for your support.