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Don’t worry about getting Smite anything for its first birthday. It already has plenty to be grateful for.
The multiplayer online battle arena officially came out for PC on March 25, 2014, entering a market dominated by heavyweights League of Legends and Dota 2. Still, while many MOBAs don’t make it, Smite is now the third-most popular game of its kind, having surpassed Heroes of Newerth. This is all according to gaming social network Raptr, which said that Smite was the fifth most popular PC game among its 23 million users in February. Dota was No. 3, and League of Legends was comfortably ahead at No. 1.
While Dota 2 and League of Legends only exist on PC, an Xbox One beta of Smite is ongoing for Xbox One. A console version could help it find an audience that its competitors never reach.
“Well, Smite has certainly opened some eyes in its first year and has emerged as a force to be reckoned with in MOBAs,” IDC’s research director of gaming Lewis Ward told GamesBeat. “It’ll be interesting to see how it performs on Xbox One and if it will become an early cross-play game once Windows 10 launches. I’m estimating that Smite has probably close to 6 million registered accounts worldwide at this point, so it’s far from being a leading MOBA — but it’s definitely on everyone’s radar screen and is riding the global free-to-play hardcore PC gamer wave.”
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Surpassing League of Legends and Dota 2 will be a huge challenge. Each have stronger claims to MOBA heritage, with both of them acting as successors to the original Defense of the Ancients mod for Warcraft III that helped popularize the competitive genre. Also, new MOBAs are always coming, including Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm, which is in open beta. Blizzard is a PC gaming powerhouse that you should never count out. It doesn’t usually settle for second place in anything — after 10 years, World of Warcraft remains the No. 1 massively multiplayer online role-playing game.
Still, Smite has plenty of momentum right now. Who knows? Maybe this time next year, Smite will be at the top of the MOBA mountain.
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