GamesBeat

Dota 2 grows larger than World of Warcraft, but League of Legends still crushes both

Above: The crowd taking in the Dota 2 finals at MLG Columbus.

Image Credit: Enrique Espinoza/MLG

Valve finally has as many players for its latest big hit as the long-running World of Warcraft … the only difference is that Valve’s game is free.

In the last month, the free-to-play Dota 2 has had 7.86 million players, according to Valve. That’s a huge milestone, as it means Valve’s multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) has surpassed Blizzard’s flagship. That massively multiplayer online hit currently has 7.8 million monthly active subscribers, according to the publisher’s last announcement. Of course, “subscribers” is very different from “players” as World of Warcraft still charges a $15 monthly fee to each of those players where Dota 2 is free with microtransactions. So while Dota 2′s popularity is on the rise, these numbers might reveal more about the long-lasting success of World of Warcraft than anything else.

A more apt comparison for Dota 2 is League of Legends from developer Riot Games. Both are free-to-play MOBAs with a focus on competitive play. League of Legends debuted in 2009, which gave it a four-year headstart on Dota 2, which released in 2013. Riot was able to turn that advantage into nearly 67 million monthly active players, according to the company. The action-strategy title dominates market share both in terms of the number of people playing as well as spending.

In 2013, Dota 2 made a respectable $80 million in microtransaction sales. That includes selling in-game goods and character customizations. That enough to make it the 13th highest-grossing online PC game worldwide last year, according to industry-tracking firm SupderData Research. That’s only a fraction of the revenues that League of Legends produced over the same time frame.

According to SuperData, League of Legends made $624 million last year from its millions of players around the world. That made it second behind only the Chinese first-person shooter CrossFire, which made $957 million.

Interestingly, World of Warcraft, which makes the bulk of its money from the aforementioned 7.8 million subscribers, made an additional $213 million from in-game purchases. So while Dota 2 is growing, it still has plenty to aim for.

In 2014, SuperData analyst Joost Van Dreunen expects Dota 2 to grow exponentially.

“I anticipate Dota 2′s success will continue in 2014,” he told GamesBeat earlier this year. “Over the course of 2013, Dota 2 managed to triple monthly revenues. Considering the current momentum behind the MOBA category, we expect it to double monthly earnings by the end of 2014.”

More about the companies and people from this article:

Valve is an entertainment software and technology company founded in 1996 by Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington and based in Bellevue, Washington. The company became famous from it’s first game Half-Life. Valve currently develops and ma... read more »

Powered by VBProfiles


Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 2.00.11 PMGamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!
0 comments

GamesBeat is your source for gaming news and reviews. But it's also home to the best articles from gamers, developers, and other folks outside of the traditional press. Register or log in to join our community of writers. You can even make a few bucks publishing stories here! Learn more.

You are now an esteemed member of the GamesBeat community. That means you can comment on stories or post your own to GB Unfiltered (look for the "New Post" link by mousing over your name in the red bar up top). But first, why don't you fill out your via your ?

About GamesBeat