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
Heroes of Newerth: 184,520,156
Diablo III: 172,907,605
Battlefield 3: 171,852,550
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.