However, Riot Games challenges DFC with its own usage stats
Valve’s Dota 2 surpassed League of Legends as the most played ‘core’ PC title in the first quarter of 2013, according to a report.
As picked up by Games Industry, the report covers PC gaming in North America and Europe based on the DFC Intelligence PC Game Meter service, which combines data from multiple sources, including real-time stats from Xfire’s 23 million users.
Usage of both Dota 2 and League of Legends vastly outstripped the next title in line, Blizzard Entertainment’s World of Warcraft.
“Usage of League of Legends has been steady the past year and surprisingly the huge success of Dota 2 did not seem to cut into its popularity as much as would be expected," said DFC analyst Jeremy Miller.
The combined usage of the top 20 PC games was up 22 per cent for the first quarter of 2013 compared to that of 2012, and up eight per cent compared to the fourth quarter of 2012.
DFC analyst David Cole added: “The past year has seen numerous blockbuster PC games that have really helped drive usage. This includes among others Diablo III, Guild Wars 2, Battlefield 3, Minecraft, World of Tanks and Valve’s Counter-Strike series.”
Riot Games’ League of Legends was launched in 2009. According to Xfire stats, it was the most played PC game in North America and Europe in July 2012.
Casual or browser-based games are not measured by the PC Game Meter service, and were therefore not including in its report.
UPDATE: League of Legends creator Riot games has got in touch with Develop to challenge the original report that this article is based on.
GamesIndustry spoke to DFC Intelligence analyst David Cole, who stands by its report on the games’ player usage, but refused to provide more detailed information.
The data source – primarily Xfire – for this report has been criticised. Taken from Xfire, League of Legends was at number one (83,009) while Dota 2 lay in sixth place (6,685) at the time of writing. On Valve’s live statistics con0current game players on Stream for Dota 2 were at 251,982.
“We have this service that tracks usage of PC games. League of Legends is always on top by a huge margin, an order of magnitude. The only time anything came close was the launch of Diablo III, but just for a short time. Dota 2 showed a huge bump in usage; first product to do that well in a long time," said Cole.
“The thing is globally [League of Legends] is still much bigger because we don't track Asia and many of the small markets they have penetrated. Our tracking is only key Western markets. China alone counts for way more usage of [League of Legends] than the rest of the world, so that is the major footnote we have been telling everyone. The main news to me was that Dota 2 has been a huge success.”
However, Riot Games has fought back with its own statistics on the report. A spokesperson said League of Legends sees “over 500,000 peak concurrent players every day on just the EU West shard”, which doesn’t even account for players in the US.
This is clashed with the 325,879 players that Valve’s Steamgraph shows as the all-time high for Dota 2 Beta.
“You can see how we would have some issues with the accuracy of this report,” the Riot Games spokesperson added.