Dota 2 Attracts More Simultaneous Players Than Skyrim

Dota 2 Attracts More Simultaneous Players Than Skyrim

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It's not even out of beta, yet Valve Software's Dota 2 is already drawing huge swaths of fans -- enough to trump Bethesda Softwork's blockbuster hit The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

Valve Software's Steam service is a pretty neat program. Not only does it allow gamers who prefer playing things with a mouse and keyboard to skip the arduous process of strolling to the nearest GameStop and dealing with insufferable teenaged sales people to pick up a video game, it also features a surprising amount of statistical information on all titles available through the digital distribution service.

To wit: This recent graph detailing the number of Steam players simultaneously enjoying The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Dota 2. As you can see, when Skyrim was released on November 11, 2011, the game drew a massive 287,411 simultaneously players. That was the highest number of gamers simultaneously playing any Steam title up to that point, and it stood as the high water mark until March 2, when Dota 2 saw 297,010 players enjoying the strategy title at the same time. If we're going by current playerbase, Dota 2 massively outstrips Skyrim by a factor of 5, though this is less surprising given the latter's relatively archaic age. Still, it's an impressive achievement for Valve's game.

On the other hand, maybe this shouldn't be all that shocking. Dota 2 is a Valve Software joint, and Valve is one of the few developers who can always rely on a huge swath of its fanbase to adopt anything it releases (or, as in this case, makes available for public beta testing). Further, Dota 2 is the most recent entry in the nascent yet mega-popular "Multiplayer Online Battle Arena" subgenre which mutates traditional real-time strategy games into something akin to a squad-based, multiplayer melée. The subgenre has traditionally been dominated by games like League of Legends and the original DOTA (neé Defense of the Ancients -- a massively popular modification for Blizzard Entertainment's WarCraft III), and since it was first announced, the public has embraced Dota 2 as the heir apparent to the subgenre's crown. We all expected Dota 2 to be successful, but few could have imagined that the game would be breaking records like this even before its official retail debut.

The only question that remains is whether Dota 2 can continue to build on its current popularity. Valve is one of the finest developers in existence when it comes to supporting games beyond release, but MOBA games live and die on the strength of their character balance. That aspect of these genre is incredibly difficult to get just right, so it remains to be seen how well Valve can manage Dota 2's ongoing development.

Of course, it would probably be both easier and more lucrative for Valve to finally get to work on Half-Life 2: Episode 3, but at this point we may as well suggest that Gabe Newell fund expeditions to capture yetis in the wilderness outside Redmond. Unlike Episode 3 there's a slim chance we might actually see a sasquatch at some point.

Source: Steam

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In B4 the LOL and Dota 2 fight.

I'm really glad DOTA 2 is going well and I enjoy watching streams of both it and LOL.

Since I started playing DOTA 2 around a month ago, I've enjoyed it immensely.

It's filled a very niche hole in my heart when it comes to multiplayer games :D

This probably has a lot to do with the fact that they won't stop giving away DOTA2 licenses.

I am not sure it's fair comparing a 60 bucks game to one that has given enough free invites to fill up the Mariana Trench. But yeah, DotA2 is going nicely and quests/tutorials with a bit of lore like the recent one featuring Dragon Knight will only increase it's popularity, especially around this parts.

Earnest Cavalli:
MOBA games live and die on the strength of their character balance.

I would like a source for this. Sure, you can't have a toon winning 80% or more of it's games in pubs, but MOBA living a dying due balance? That's not why LoL became so popular, that is not why HoN succeeded and then failed, that is not why Demigod crashed and burnt or why Awesomenauts or Monday Night Combat are growing.

Also... you do realize Icefrog has been balancing dota, this same dota, for 8 years right? I don't forsee that being a problem.

Ah, Earnest returns.

I wonder how long until he gets sin binned again...

AntiChri5:
This probably has a lot to do with the fact that they won't stop giving away DOTA2 licenses.

Yeah one of my friends ended up with about 17 of the things.

Which is how i got my access to it.

AntiChri5:
This probably has a lot to do with the fact that they won't stop giving away DOTA2 licenses.

True, but more players on DOTA than Skyrim playing at a time? That's very, very impressive, considering the status of the game being a closed beta. I'm impressed, considering the reputation that MOBAs have.

Now I just want a bug ironed out of the Steam client that's annoying me, and I'll be ready to go back and play DOTA. Dang it Valve, screwing up the client just as you make us Linux users happy... :-(

Daystar Clarion:
Since I started playing DOTA 2 around a month ago, I've enjoyed it immensely.

It's filled a very niche hole in my heart when it comes to multiplayer games :D

Same, I cannot be bothered with COD/battlefield anymore and Starcraft 2, I just don't have the reactions for that. DOTA2 is a good mix of reaction and strategy for me.

Outworld Destroyer currently my go to carry

thesilentman:

AntiChri5:
This probably has a lot to do with the fact that they won't stop giving away DOTA2 licenses.

True, but more players on DOTA than Skyrim? That's very, very impressive, considering the status of the game being a closed beta. I'm impressed, considering the reputation that MOBAs have.

Now I just want a bug ironed out of the Steam client that's annoying me, and I'll be ready to go back and play DOTA. Dang it Valve, screwing up the client just as you make us Linux users happy... :-(

Sort of, but it's actually more players on DOTA than 2/13 of Skyrim players since this is only PC players Skyrim was multiplatform and sold a lot more on consoles, whereas DOTA 2 is exclusive

is this really a suprise at all?

i mean, last few months we had a pandemic of "giving away dota 2 keys" threads because the ones who shared them were themselves shovered with assloads of beta keys.

thesilentman:
True, but more players on DOTA than Skyrim? That's very, very impressive, considering the status of the game being a closed beta. I'm impressed, considering the reputation that MOBAs have.

Now I just want a bug ironed out of the Steam client that's annoying me, and I'll be ready to go back and play DOTA. Dang it Valve, screwing up the client just as you make us Linux users happy... :-(

To be fair, even tought that is the title, that is NOT what the article said. It is not that historically there have been "more players on DOTA2 than Skyrim", rather than "more concurrent players have been using steam and playing DotA2 than Skyrim", considering Skyrim is cross plataform and an offline game on PC, the difference is sustantive.

Tanakh:
To be fair, even tought that is the title, that is NOT what the article said. It is not that historically there have been "more players on DOTA2 than Skyrim", rather than "more concurrent players have been using steam and playing DotA2 than Skyrim", considering Skyrim is cross plataform and an offline game on PC, the difference is sustantive.

BrotherRool:
Sort of, but it's actually more players on DOTA than 2/13 of Skyrim players since this is only PC players Skyrim was multiplatform and sold a lot more on consoles, whereas DOTA 2 is exclusive

That's what I meant originally. I'll edit my post to be more clear. Thanks for catching that. :-)

Well... Skyrim is a single player game that's been out for over a year. Can't say I am surprised.

Fappy:
Well... Skyrim is a single player game that's been out for over a year. Can't say I am surprised.

Someone didn't clicked on the graph :D

Maybe it should be embedded as an image on the OP?

Fappy:
Well... Skyrim is a single player game that's been out for over a year. Can't say I am surprised.

I think you may have missed the point of the article.

It wasn't saying that there are currently more players playing Dota 2 than Skyrim. What the article is saying is that the highest number of concurrent players playing Skyrim, at it's peak, has now been surpassed by the highest number of concurrent players playing Dota 2 at it's <current> peak.

Which is rather impressive, even if the community's seen a massive influx of keys recently.

Tanakh:

Fappy:
Well... Skyrim is a single player game that's been out for over a year. Can't say I am surprised.

Someone didn't clicked on the graph :D

Maybe it should be embedded as an image on the OP?

The idea is that a big multiplayer game like Dota 2 generally takes a while to pick up steam, where as games like Skyrim have a huge playerbase at launch and then trail off from there. If Dota's popularity kept rising it would inevitably surpass Skyrim's peak playerbase. If LoL is anything to go by they are still in for more growth.

EDIT: I see now that I worded my initial post... poorly >.<

Daystar Clarion:
Since I started playing DOTA 2 around a month ago, I've enjoyed it immensely.

It's filled a very niche hole in my heart when it comes to multiplayer games :D

I concur. I used to play the original a lot when I was younger, and was no good at it. aahhh the flame-fests...

anyway, this must be what you old crotchety folks mean by 'nostalgia', what with all my old favorite heroes being re-designed in glorious modern graphic detail. I'm even starting to get really good at Nyx Assassin, my old go-to.

Just wanted to mention that Dota won't be getting a real retail release. The game has already been announced as free to play. I figure that once they import everything they'll just quietly transition into "This is the full game now" mode.

Tanakh:
I would like a source for this. Sure, you can't have a toon winning 80% or more of it's games in pubs, but MOBA living a dying due balance? That's not why LoL became so popular, that is not why HoN succeeded and then failed, that is not why Demigod crashed and burnt or why Awesomenauts or Monday Night Combat are growing.

Also... you do realize Icefrog has been balancing dota, this same dota, for 8 years right? I don't forsee that being a problem.

Ya, this is the other thing I wanted to mention. Compared to other MOBAs I really don't see balance being an issue in DOTA. IceFrog is very good when it comes to balance, and the game doesn't have too many "shit tier" heroes, unlike some other MOBA I've played *cough* League *cough*. <- Fanboy bait :)

It's hard to call DotA 2 a beta these days. The unfinished content is more akin to the continuous updates Valve are known for.

One thing DotA 2 has over Skyrim is that it is a very social game once you start playing with friends.

Anyone with a Steam account and a friend who plays DotA 2 will have DotA 2 due to the huge number of keys given to players. I have 12 spare so if anyone wants one they can PM me and add me on Steam so I can send it to them. Link to my profile is on my profile page.

Innegativeion:
I'm even starting to get really good at Nyx Assassin, my old go-to.

Nerubian Assassin is bad and you should feel bad!

Jk, but the 5 man stun he has now is totally crazy, and that was after they made his base hp regen totally stratospheric. Unless there are big changes before TI3 we will see him in almost every game he aint banned.

Eh, that's not really too surprising to me. Everyone and their dog got a mountain of beta keys forced onto them and it's insanely popular to boot. It was really just a matter of time before it became the top game on Steam.

I don't think the comparison is fair. But it was a publicity announcement so when it may start actually costing money, they can point and say "look how many other people there are".

I'll be honest; the fact that there are FAR too many free copies flying through Steam inventories might just have something to do with that. My friend has about twenty for crying out loud; he can't even offload them because everyone he knows already has one.

marurder:
I don't think the comparison is fair. But it was a publicity announcement so when it may start actually costing money, they can point and say "look how many other people there are".

It's going to be free to play on release though. The only purchases will be the cosmetic items in the store (a la TF2), same as it is now.

This just in, new multiplayer game has more concurrent players than single player game that came out a year and a half ago!

Hunter85792:

marurder:
I don't think the comparison is fair. But it was a publicity announcement so when it may start actually costing money, they can point and say "look how many other people there are".

It's going to be free to play on release though. The only purchases will be the cosmetic items in the store (a la TF2), same as it is now.

So would a comparison between a F2P game and a full price game be fair? I think not. Indeed you bring up a better choice for the topic. TF2 would be better. But again, that would be dividing up your own customers. How silly of me... The yare going after other devs customers :P

Frostbite3789:
This just in, new multiplayer game has more concurrent players than single player game that came out a year and a half ago!

This just in!

The multiplayer game is beating the singleplayers record number of users that it gained shortly after release.

Earnest Cavalli:
As you can see, when Skyrim was released on November 11, 2011, the game drew a massive 287,411 simultaneously players. That was the highest number of gamers simultaneously playing any Steam title up to that point, and it stood as the high water mark until March 2, when Dota 2 saw 297,010 players enjoying the strategy title at the same time.

I've enbolded the relevant parts for you.

The graph in the link shows it better than the article, it would have been a better image than the generic shot of DOTA2.

Ed130:

Frostbite3789:
This just in, new multiplayer game has more concurrent players than single player game that came out a year and a half ago!

This just in!

The multiplayer game is beating the singleplayers record number of users that it gained shortly after release.

Earnest Cavalli:
As you can see, when Skyrim was released on November 11, 2011, the game drew a massive 287,411 simultaneously players. That was the highest number of gamers simultaneously playing any Steam title up to that point, and it stood as the high water mark until March 2, when Dota 2 saw 297,010 players enjoying the strategy title at the same time.

I've enbolded the relevant parts for you.

The graph in the link shows it better than the article, it would have been a better image than the generic shot of DOTA2.

Still, they aren't comparable games. One has a $60 barrier to entry. One has beta keys they can't give away fast enough. I have like...9 in my inventory right now. And have literally no use for them. And I didn't even pay, I got a beta key from someone else.

Frostbite3789:

Still, they aren't comparable games. One has a $60 barrier to entry. One has beta keys they can't give away fast enough. I have like...9 in my inventory right now. And have literally no use for them. And I didn't even pay, I got a beta key from someone else.

Wha?

Your statement appeared to show that you drew a faulty conclusion from the article and I showed you what you missed as well as that the article could have been clearer with its content.

And while it is true that comparing the two games would be like comparing apples and oranges, having even a Free to Play game who's primary form of advertising and distribution is through word of mouth beating a record set by a franchise title with a massive advertising budget is still remarkable.

Also is anyone else getting Error 500 messages when using the Escapist?

This isnt really a fair comparison.
on one hadn you got steam-only game where 100% of players are counted towards the steam users active.
on the other hand you got a game where unknown number of players are playing while not connected to steam, considering the nature of the game and the average type of gamer these games attract, i woudl dare guessing that majority of Skyrim players are uncounted in this graph.

not to mention free to play vs 60 dollars.

 

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