Dota Auto Chess was first released by the four-man Drodo Studio as a Dota 2 custom mod on January 4, 2019. Within a week's time, the mod attracted hundreds of thousands of players and became an instant hit. By February 26, Dota Auto Chess had amassed five million players, with dedicated Twitch channels and widespread esports attention. Like the game it was built upon, Dota Auto Chess had become the modding phenomenon of a new generation.
A number of developers had expressed interest in acquiring the Auto Chess property - namely Valve Corporation. In February, Valve flew the developers from Drodo Studio over to Seattle, to discuss further developing the property. Though Valve and Drodo were unable to move forward with a direct collaboration, Drodo consented for Valve to develop a standalone Dota title based on the property, while Valve would assist with support for their custom mod and their own stand-alone version.
On March 14, Drodo Studio revealed that they had decided to develop the property further themselves, with the announcement of Auto Chess, a standalone mobile game published by Dragonest. ImbaTV would be supporting an invitational. The game entered its public beta phase the following April and was released on May 30.
On June 10, 2019, Drodo announced via a trailer that Auto Chess was being developed for PC, as an exclusive title for the Epic Games Store.