Full Disclosure on the State of Dota2Navigation
Posted on 13 Apr 2016
First we need to clarify that Dota2Navigation.com doesn’t belong to Na’Vi, they were our partners in realizing this project.
To simplify a complex situation let’s say that the success of the D2N project is standing on three major pillars:
The people with the idea, the knowhow and desire to bring this project to fruition are the first pillar - the founders of the project. The second pillar are the people who have the resources needed to realize the concept (the investors), and the third one are the people with the needed reputation and experience in the community to make this a success (the partners – pro players and teams). If any of the three pillars isn’t solid, problems are bound to emerge, which is sadly what happened.
The founders of the project
We dove in this straight out of university. We have a passion for the game and we really wanted to make something worthwhile that makes money and in the same time creates a lot of value for the community. We had a good idea, we created a small startup and talked to Na’Vi – this is how all of this started.
Despite the number of problems we faced we can say that this core group of people is still working very hard on the project and we are doing everything in our power to deliver on our promises, but more on that later.
After signing with Na’Vi we started work very hopeful that we would be able to fully realize our vision – after all we were working with one of the biggest eSports companies and the No.1 Dota 2 team at that time as a partner.
Everything was fine for a while, but when circumstances changed problems started to emerge. Na’Vi as a company faced numerous issues – there was a drop of performance and internal problems with the Dota team (flowingly Puppey and Kuro left) and in the same time the political situation in Ukraine became extremely poor. Sadly, after a long period of time it became clear that they were unwilling or incapable of investing time and money into our project – e.g. it was their responsibility to provide the funds for the translation of the content into Russian. Even though we were very frustrated with the situation, looking back on it Na’Vi only did what was rational for them – investing in a risky project was likely the last thing on their mind as they were in a tough situation of their own.
After it became clear Na’Vi as a partner were not going to add value to the project anymore, we had to take the tough decision to break up our partnership with them.
Despite not working with Na’Vi anymore we kept a good relationship with Clement and Danil and we know that they are willing to help us deliver on our promises as much as possible from their end. They poured a huge amount of effort in this project for what is a negligible amount of money for them.
We used our initial seed funding to create the platform, the initial bulk of content and to launch the beta of the website. We also secured a contract with a new private investor who agreed to give us the second round of funding needed to fully realize the concept (to finish the content, create the app, etc.).
The problem came when the investor in question changed his mind and didn’t deliver on his promise to provide the needed funds. We entered a legal battle with him and despite being able to remove him from the project after a long while the damage was already done.
We realized that in the current state of things (three people working for the project with no capital) it was physically impossible for us to deliver on our promises even if we continued investing our whole time. Creating the guides is extremely time consuming (we want to deliver very high production value) and continuing work on the app or translations we simply couldn’t afford. This is why we took the tough decision to neglect the website and spend all our time and effort on finding the much needed second round of funding – this was basically our only option.
The reason we decided to stay silent about all of this (which retrospectively was probably a mistake) is because so far we have nothing solid to say. Our past experience with investors clearly shows that until we have the required capital in the bank account nothing is certain, so we didn’t want to give more false hopes and promises until we know what direction the project is going to take and we are sure that we can deliver 100% regardless of the circumstances.
We owe a heartfelt apology to all our customers who paid a price and didn’t receive what they expected and we take full responsibility and truly understand your frustration: we invested more than two years of our lives and so far we haven’t been able to achieve what we wanted to, which is lightly put frustrating as well.
Nonetheless, we would ask you to have faith and patience: we have a lot of trust in the future potential of this endeavor and an ambitious vision for it, otherwise we wouldn’t be investing so much of our time trying to fix the situation. We have deep love for the game and the community and are not willing to quit just yet.
As things currently stand, one thing that is certain is that Dota2Navigation.com will change drastically. There are two possible outcomes of the situation:
1. We don’t manage to find the needed funds in the near future: in this case we would package all the content we have, including unreleased guides, send it to our customers and close the website.
2. We manage to find the needed funds: this means a new beginning and a chance for us to make things right: most probably a new website, new brand and domain, a completed mobile app, new design and much more new content a large part of which free. Of course, our past customers will have full access to all of that. Very cautiously we want to say that this is the more likely option since we are in advanced stages of negotiations with some interested parties.
Until the moment comes when we know what the future holds with relative certainty, please use this email (dota2navigation[at]gmail[dot]com) to vent all your frustration, to give constructive suggestions or even just to talk, we promise to answer each and every one of you. Please keep in mind that we don’t speak Russian and we’ll only be able to answer emails in English.