League of Legends Topples World of Warcraft as Most Played PC Game

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League of Legends Topples World of Warcraft as Most Played PC Game

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Riot Games' action RTS is played more than World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Minecraft combined.

In the world of competitive gaming, a common benchmark of success is hours played, since that shows how much time the community is putting into a single product on the whole. For that reason, a report recently released by DFC Intelligence is turning heads in the industry by revealing that Riot Games' League of Legends has become the world's most played PC game. The popular Action RTS easily doubled even World of Warcraft's usage figures, clocking in at nearly 1.3 billion hours for the past six months alone.

"The fact that online games such League of Legends eclipsed more than a billion hours of online game time in a year is simply incredible and a testament to the fundamental shift currently sweeping through the games industry," said DFC Intelligence CEO David Cole. "By comparison, Bungie recently announced that the Halo franchise surpassed two billion hours of online play, but that's over a period of seven years."

These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members, but still reflect the broader player statistics of both WoW and LoL over the past year. If you also take into account Korea, where LoL recently surpassed Starcraft II in popularity, it's clear that the title is quickly becoming a staple of the online gaming landscape.

Here's the full list of the Top Ten Games by hours played according to Xfire and DFC:

League of Legends: 1,292,502,456
World of Warcraft: 622,378,909
Minecraft: 371,635,651
Heroes of Newerth: 184,520,156
Diablo III: 172,907,605
Battlefield 3: 171,852,550
MapleStory: 165,503,651
StarCraft II: 163,980,293
World Of Tanks: 145,702,931
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: 126,754,082

To give you a better idea of how impressive this is, consider that if Diablo III had launched at the start of the report's timeframe, it would need to maintain its usage rate for the full six months just to come in third place behind World of Warcraft, despite having one of the biggest launches this year. And that's not even taking the common post-launch usage drop into account, although Cole notes that Diablo III "is still doing quite well and may surpass World of Warcraft in usage over the next year."

The report is part of a larger initiative to catalog game usage through the DFC GamePulse Matrix, a database which includes comprehensive statistics from providers like Xfire down to the second. It currently holds custom reports on over 1,500 games, although it's pretty clear that none of those titles are being played nearly as much as League of Legends right now.

Source: Forbes

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I've noticed a lot of people have been LOLing but I still don't know what's so funny.

Anyone else suprised that CoD is so low on the list? Some game has to take its place and do what MW did in 2007. Then every game can copy that so people in 2018 will be super pissed at all the copies of OHbgpaer that are on the market all the time and how none of them innovate.

People still use Xfire? I haven't used that since like 2006. I know my WoW hours aren't clocked, and I had about over a years worth of play time.

LoL Passed WoW a long time ago, just look at it, they got more than twice as many hours played.

Yes, I know LoL is free-to-play which means that it's uncompatible with everything else, but still.

Even though I despise Blizzard, you got to admire that they got three games in that list, despite their lackluster gameplay and absolutely atrocious storywriting.

I don't actually know what Xfire is? Is it compulsory to play all these games? If not arent those figures a bit skewed?

What the... 1.3 bn. in 6 months?! That wouldn't really mean much to me but when you see that it's double of the entire life time of WoW... that's mind boggling. How do people even find enough time to play that much?

Pipotchi:
I don't actually know what Xfire is? Is it compulsory to play all these games? If not arent those figures a bit skewed?

I'm a little out of date since I haven't used X-Fire in years but basically put back then it was like an MSN/AIM for gamers that would keep track of your hours played across all the games you played. To my knowledge it's not required to be played with any of those games and a bunch of them (specifically the blizzard titles) come with built in IM type systems. So there might be less people using X-fire playing them since it would be rather redundant if all your friends were also playing said games.

It's by no means conclusive data about how much they are played compared to each over but still, that's a hell of a lot of time in only 6 months.

Hate to be off topic but I must admit that Battlefield 3 being higher that MW3 made me feel good.

F2P is OP. That's what I took from this.

Fappy:
F2P is OP. That's what I took from this.

Then again, Maple Story, THE definitive F2P MMORPG of five years ago has only tied with Starcraft II (which required $50 to get).

Except, as people have pointed out, xfire is not used by many users, skewing the figures heavily.

I liked LoL, though the community drove me to find other games to play, but these numbers seem off.

"These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members"

Aaaaaand theres your problem. you are counting a minority of players. Do you honestly believe that LoL, as famous as it is, has played more hours than WoW? WoW is a game played over periods of DAYS. LoL is a "get in play a few rounds get out" game.

I dunno, i dont trust these numbers very much.

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A worthy game to be top of the PC pile, not an Activision funding money and time hole.

draythefingerless:
"These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members"

Aaaaaand theres your problem. you are counting a minority of players. Do you honestly believe that LoL, as famous as it is, has played more hours than WoW? WoW is a game played over periods of DAYS. LoL is a "get in play a few rounds get out" game.

I dunno, i dont trust these numbers very much.

image

Awww shucks. LoL was such a worthy game I knew it was too good to be true.

I guess I will be forever doomed to be hipster in my tastes

lacktheknack:

Fappy:
F2P is OP. That's what I took from this.

Then again, Maple Story, THE definitive F2P MMORPG of five years ago has only tied with Starcraft II (which required $50 to get).

That's probably because Maple Story sucks!

Just kidding, I have never played it.

I think LoL's advantage is the fact that it is not an MMO and is easy to jump in and out of. No commitment necessary.

I find it kind of ironic that the WoW-killer has finally come along and its not even an MMOPRG.

Kind of highlights a glaring flaw in what people have been trying to do until now, and will keep trying to do in future.

Oh wait, it doesnt count Asain regions. Therefore i count it as valid as the forecast of extended sunshine in Britan.

Treblaine:

draythefingerless:
"These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members"

Aaaaaand theres your problem. you are counting a minority of players. Do you honestly believe that LoL, as famous as it is, has played more hours than WoW? WoW is a game played over periods of DAYS. LoL is a "get in play a few rounds get out" game.

I dunno, i dont trust these numbers very much.

image

Awww shucks. LoL was such a worthy game I knew it was too good to be true.

I guess I will be forever doomed to be hipster in my tastes

well theres still more people playing LoL than WoW. so no, no hipster points for you .

That's 147,448 years to us regular people.

There are enough people who still use xfire to get a representative sample. The big question is are xfire users representative of pc gamers in general. I was still taken aback a bit to see Forbes using just xfire though.

LoL is free and WoW is 15 a month. honestly whats surprising about this?

Treblaine:

draythefingerless:
"These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members"

Aaaaaand theres your problem. you are counting a minority of players. Do you honestly believe that LoL, as famous as it is, has played more hours than WoW? WoW is a game played over periods of DAYS. LoL is a "get in play a few rounds get out" game.

I dunno, i dont trust these numbers very much.

image

Awww shucks. LoL was such a worthy game I knew it was too good to be true.

I guess I will be forever doomed to be hipster in my tastes

It depends. Is there any reason to believe that LoL players are more likely to use Xfire than WoW players? If not then these numbers may still be significant.

On the otherhand, CoD is in 10th place, but I suspect it is much higher, as most CoD players are on consoles. I don't think it is necessarily even that popular on PC, but overall its one of the top money-making games of all time.

Only problem with LOL is that there is a different type of power creep going on at the high level of play and if you actually want to keep up with the latest content you HAVE to play for HOURS.

Riot games is actually relying on their champion saturation as from a F2P standpoint you just can't keep up and even if you do have a lot of money god help us if we find out how much it actually costs to unlock everything starting from nothing.

The only odd part about Riot's latest choice is that while they are certainly making more cosmetics they are only making them more expensive and eliminating the lower price tiers. Kinda backwards for a F2P game because they are basically relying on their wealthier consumers to generate their profit.

Huh, with all the grinding hours required to get up a single level I would have thought Maple Story would have been much, much higher. Then again, this is only based on xfire numbers, and when I used to play the game I made damn sure xfire didn't detect that game

shadowstriker86:
LoL is free and WoW is 15 a month. honestly whats surprising about this?

And WoW has been in a slow decline since BC that accelerated with the release of Cata.

draythefingerless:
"These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members"

Aaaaaand theres your problem. you are counting a minority of players. Do you honestly believe that LoL, as famous as it is, has played more hours than WoW? WoW is a game played over periods of DAYS. LoL is a "get in play a few rounds get out" game.

I dunno, i dont trust these numbers very much.

This.
Considering how big Starcraft has always been in Korea and the other asian regions, and how popular SC2 has been for the last few years, these numbers mean absolutely nothing to me.
Especially when you look at stream #'s on twitch.tv. A big name will get about 7-8k viewers, with about 40% of the people streaming on twitch, being LoL players. Compare that to SC2: every time IdrA streams, he gets 8k-9k viewers easy. I've seen his viewers at 12k and 15k. Stephano who gets 9k minimum viewers, and upwards of 16k viewers (whenever he actually streams >.>) is one of the most popular streamers. Throw in the fact that there are weekly tournaments big and small for SC2, and you get a much different number than the one shown.
What do all these viewer numbers mean? Besides the obvious, "people enjoy watching SC2", more people watching SC2 means more people playing SC2. Whenever I watch someone play a game, I get a growing itch to play said game.

The only thing I take away from this chart is: more LoL players use Xfire and DFC than any other game.

Edit: I didn't even talk about how douchey the high level players of LoL are compared to any other game on this list. Even CoD players are more civil to each other than LoL players.

what are the numbers for TF2?

What I question about this is, is the hours counted actual playtime, or does it also count hours idle in their adobe air launcher? I know many people will sit and leave the launchers up while they go do other things.

hehe
I just won a game of LoL before reading this article.

Good stuff.

Bertinan:
What I question about this is, is the hours counted actual playtime, or does it also count hours idle in their adobe air launcher? I know many people will sit and leave the launchers up while they go do other things.

Yep I know I do that at times. Oh I'll just get this one thing at the store...

*4 hours later*

God dammit I left my computer on.

Even if more did play, which they don't, *ahem*

draythefingerless:
"These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members"

Aaaaaand theres your problem. you are counting a minority of players. Do you honestly believe that LoL, as famous as it is, has played more hours than WoW? WoW is a game played over periods of DAYS. LoL is a "get in play a few rounds get out" game.

I dunno, i dont trust these numbers very much.

You have to pay for WoW. Imagine how much bigger it'd be if you didn't have to pay. Yeah, thought so.

kajinking:
Hate to be off topic but I must admit that Battlefield 3 being higher that MW3 made me feel good.

Well this is PC we're talking about, where COD is disliked and Battlefield is an obviously more PC style game.

You know I've never seen the appeal in LoL. Just another of those enormously popular things that passed me by I guess.

Torrasque:

shadowstriker86:
LoL is free and WoW is 15 a month. honestly whats surprising about this?

And WoW has been in a slow decline since BC that accelerated with the release of Cata.

draythefingerless:
"These statistics apply only to North American and European Xfire members"

Aaaaaand theres your problem. you are counting a minority of players. Do you honestly believe that LoL, as famous as it is, has played more hours than WoW? WoW is a game played over periods of DAYS. LoL is a "get in play a few rounds get out" game.

I dunno, i dont trust these numbers very much.

This.
Considering how big Starcraft has always been in Korea and the other asian regions, and how popular SC2 has been for the last few years, these numbers mean absolutely nothing to me.
Especially when you look at stream #'s on twitch.tv. A big name will get about 7-8k viewers, with about 40% of the people streaming on twitch, being LoL players. Compare that to SC2: every time IdrA streams, he gets 8k-9k viewers easy. I've seen his viewers at 12k and 15k. Stephano who gets 9k minimum viewers, and upwards of 16k viewers (whenever he actually streams >.>) is one of the most popular streamers. Throw in the fact that there are weekly tournaments big and small for SC2, and you get a much different number than the one shown.
What do all these viewer numbers mean? Besides the obvious, "people enjoy watching SC2", more people watching SC2 means more people playing SC2. Whenever I watch someone play a game, I get a growing itch to play said game.

The only thing I take away from this chart is: more LoL players use Xfire and DFC than any other game.

Edit: I didn't even talk about how douchey the high level players of LoL are compared to any other game on this list. Even CoD players are more civil to each other than LoL players.

Although I don't necessarily disagree with what you're saying, I think your point "People enjoy watching SC2" is the only valid part about twitch.tv. If there are more people watching sc2, then that possibly just means that a higher percentage of sc2 players enjoy watching their game being played on twitch.tv. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how much people are playing the game (and since these figures are in total hours rather than total players, it may even detract from the number).

I had no idea Minecraft was that popular. It seems like an incredibly boring/dumb game to me. I understand the appeal, I just didn't think that appeal... appealed to many people, for lack of a better phrase.

Also, Battlefield 3 being higher than MW3 is extremely predictable. MW3 is a console game primarily, BF3 is a PC game primarily. Also, BF3 holds most of the BF community, whereas CoD4, MW2, and even World at War are still very popular on PC. Mostly CoD4 because it's the best of the series and has a great mod community.

Shocking to see something more popular than WoW though. I mean, LoL is a good game, but I never thought I'd see WoW lower than #1 on a list of PC "mosts".

That's because the financial model they use is extremely effective for attracting new players and keeping them.

Wow. THAT MANY players? Two things come to mind

a) the Number of Teemos dead per minute
b) the Number of ragers per minute

LoL-ers will understand...

Scrustle:
What the... 1.3 bn. in 6 months?! That wouldn't really mean much to me but when you see that it's double of the entire life time of WoW... that's mind boggling. How do people even find enough time to play that much?

No no no, these are just numbers from the last year. WoW has a LOT more hours played than that. Probably 10 times more, if not even higher. It's in a down period and has been since January/February, so it's not all that surprising to see it being played less.

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