Dota 2 players now outnumber World of Warcraft subscribers

More than 7.86 million players have played Valve's MOBA in the last month.

Valve's incredibly successful MOBA, Dota 2, now has more players than Blizzard's genre-defining MMO, World of Warcraft, according to player numbers shared publicly by Valve.

The official Dota 2 blog is home to a counter tracking the total number of unique players the game has seen in the last month. As noticed by Reddit user dagla, that counter shows Dota 2's players have eclipsed 7.86 million in the last month--a figure which would put it slightly ahead of the 7.8 million subscribers World of Warcraft had when Activision last reported numbers in February.

There is, of course, an important distinction to be made: World of Warcraft players are subscribers, all of which fork over $15 for access to the game every month (unless they elect for a longer-term subscription, in which case they get a discount).

Dota 2, by contrast, is a free-to-play game, and a very unaggressive one in many ways. Unlike competitor League of Legends, it allows players access to all of its characters for free. It instead makes money off sales of cosmetic items, new announcer voice packs, and other things that don't have a direct effect on gameplay.

Generally speaking, only a small percentage of a free-to-play game's players ever spend money--a recent report suggested that number was 2.2%. While it's possible the paying players in Dota 2 spend more than $15 per month, we have no precise way of comparing how much money Blizzard and Valve are making off of these two games.

Also of note, while Dota 2's 7.86 million players is an impressive number, it pales in comparison to League of Legends' player count. Earlier this year, developer Riot Games announced the game was seeing upwards of 27 million players every day, and an astounding total of 67 million players per month.

Valve released its first-ever documentary film, Free to Play, last month. It chronicles the stories of three professional Dota 2 players as they prepared to play in the first-ever Dota 2 International Tournament. More recently, it launched the Spring Cleaning update for Dota 2, introducing a wide range of changes and bug fixes.

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Twitter/Xbox Live/PSN/Nintendo Network: TheSmokingManX

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Discussion

144 comments
klugenbeel
klugenbeel

NO WAY! A F2P GAME HAS MORE PLAYERS THAN ONE WITH A MONTHLY FEE! OMG THIS IS HEADLINE NEWS!

megakick
megakick

Barely outnumbers a game that is 10 years old. YEAH? When Heroes of the Storm comes out you can kiss that .06 million good bye.

andrewonix
andrewonix

The only thing i dont like about dota 2 is most of the players i see who play it think theyre some kind of "elites" or more "mature" than people who play any other game, especially LoL. Theyre immature kids for even trying to make that comparison in the first place.

gameroutlawzz
gameroutlawzz

Ill take Smite over both Dota and LoL anyway. 

vadagar1
vadagar1

I taste the tears of blizzard fanboys... and its like 50 year old vintage wine made by the god of wine himself....


*sips*


divine .....

vadagar1
vadagar1

anything that proves blizzard are now just a zombified husk of their former glory makes me happy


blizazrd's wow and heroes of the storm are an embarrassment on the gaming world...

Dolmar9191
Dolmar9191

It doesn't matter. Dota 2 is just more enjoyable than LoL or WoW. The latter two get boring real quickly and lack in quality. WoW gets shittier and shittier every expansion.

jetfreakist
jetfreakist

both games are great but league of legends' gameplay is slower compared to DotA 2 that is why beginners prefer LoL. i play both so no matter

javalino
javalino

67 millions noobs play LOL  ????? as expected! there are more noobs than real players

DOTA 2 RULES!!! 

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

its 7 859 999 million now since im out.

iMpLuX
iMpLuX

27 million ppl play LoL daily? Why?   ( ...>_<...)

chris230990
chris230990

I'd like to see how many people would be playing Dota if it wasn't free.

lfebaggins
lfebaggins

7.86 million Dota 2 subscribers


7-8+6-2

=

3

=

half life 3 

=


half life 3 confirmed

johnnycu95
johnnycu95

Why do the numbers matter? Dota 2 is unarguably the most hardcore MOBA ever existed and has always been growing on its own, not marketing/advertising or whatsoever. Warcraft is also a great MMORPG that has already been around for a longtime and gained huge player base.

League is as popular as it is today because of mass marketing, both locally and oversea. Not mentioning the game is much easier to get into. I don't play League and not saying it is a bad game, but completely dislike the way Riot is forcing me to play it by posting advertisement everyday on my news feed.

Xenro4
Xenro4

A free game getting played as much as 15$/month WoW? What are the odds?

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Dota 2 is free and fun to play. At least you chose if you want to buy things for it and you dont get a monthly subscription fee. 

I tried WoW, I didnt play it enough to get my moneys worth. If they made it a month or year of actual game time, not real time in that subscription because half of that time is work and sleep, i would use it more.

chuckles471
chuckles471

7.8 million paying customers vs 7.86 million who might throw you some money?


Come back when WOW is at 2million and Dota is at 20 million.  And maybe then it would sound significant.

voljin1987
voljin1987

7.86 million.. 7+8+6 = 21.. 2+1=3 ... half life 3 confirmed

Yuusha09
Yuusha09

The article is a comparison of business strategies and their effectiveness, not the games themselves.  I wouldn't compare an apple (WoW) to an orange (DOTA2), but I would compare a lemon (F2P) to a lime (Subscription).

Dagus0323
Dagus0323

if anything i think this shows WoWs strength

ffritzy
ffritzy

How does this number matter? And in our other field there are more people dead than have ever played DotA 2. Ha Ha DotA?


keeper262
keeper262

Players is not the same thing as subscribers. So perhaps a better comparison title could have been used...If you need a paragraph describing why your title is not accurate pick a new title...Besides that little issue, great job DOTA!

RoachRush
RoachRush

WoW still has more than twice the amount of subscribers than the next highest populated MMO. WoW also has the best overall gameplay for its genre (note I said OVERALL, not just one area), despite it being so old and even outdated. As much as I hated what Cataclysm did to endgame and made difficulty easier for whiny players, it did a lot to streamlining questing at lower levels, and even made some more memorable new quests. If graphics mattered, games like Tera, GW2 and Aion would've shot past WoW, but they never even came close.

WoW is only failing at trying to please everybody (noobs, casuals, serious, hardcore players), but as a game, it has yet to truly fail. If dropping from 12 million to 7 million subscribers is failing, then you have a very poor sense of what the word "failure" even means. WoW's continued success, as well as the other MMOs shortcomings, is the reason why Blizz is holding back on Project Titan: There's no need for them to pull their ace out if WoW is still the king of the hill.

Daian
Daian

I watched the Dota 2 documentary a couple of days ago, really lets u inside the minds of pro players and how hard their journey can be, all the pressure, all the problems. I liked it.

pyro1245
pyro1245

wow lets compare the number of users for two other random games!

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Yeah, and which one makes more money?

Rakou
Rakou

@jetfreakist  Strange, because all my LoL matches was about 30mins each, while my Dota 2 matches range from 35-60 minutes each. A complete one-sided Dota 2 match takes at least 18mins.

Most of the LoL matches I played are about 30mins long.


Towers in LoL dies quicker, maxing out equipment is quicker, leveling up is quicker...

Darion350
Darion350

@Gears_0f_L0ve  DotA 2 is teh suxxorz LOL.. Pow!!... 


Seriously.. Remove Leo's image from your profile.  He deserves better.

Darion350
Darion350

@johnnycu95  League isn't forcing you to do anything.  I'm also assuming you can block them from your news feed if you don't want to see what they're posting. 

quickshooterMk2
quickshooterMk2

@johnnycu95  just the brand valve is advertisement enough 


plus all the fans making the SFM dota 2 vids are a way of advertiseing the game 

Dolmar9191
Dolmar9191

@Xenro4  You forget to mention that over half of the player-base of WoW is in China & Korea where it's pay-for-gametime based which ends up being quite a ways less than $15 a month.

Dolmar9191
Dolmar9191

@Xenro4 People who still play WoW are retards feeding Blizzard with their same old shitty content releases.

Lehikex
Lehikex

@Xenro4  Its stupid to compare the two, loging in once a month means you are a subscriber in Dota2? WoW players are most likely to play more times a month.

Also WoW subscribers are at their lowest at the moment, Pandaria is the least anticipated expansion(shame because its a good one) and soon Warlord of  Draenor will cause a huge rising in subscriptions

wallacom
wallacom

@Xenro4  Exactly, WoW is a minimum $15/Player profit, while Dota 2 is free to play.

Dolmar9191
Dolmar9191

@chuckles471  More than half of WoW's population is from China and Korea where you pay for game-time which results in less money spent. It's possible to play hardcore for about $5/month in China.

dvdjedi
dvdjedi

@Yuusha09 A lemon to a lime, a lime to a lemon. I sip a deft ale with all the fine women.

Dolmar9191
Dolmar9191

@Dagus0323  No it just shows that people are still sucking at Blizzard's teet. WoW has gone to shits and yet fanatics would still play it. $15/month for that crap? No thanks.

Dolmar9191
Dolmar9191

@RoachRush  WoW has the best overall gameplay of MMOs? HAHAHAHAHHAHA.... oh shit you weren't joking... fuck.

Xenro4
Xenro4

@RoachRush WoW is their ace; can't say anything about Project Titan. I say the more time they have to think the next one through and conceptualize, the better.

vadagar1
vadagar1

@jinzo9988 hmmm u missed the tournament book thing ...


i would say valve makes less BUT its like PURE profit since they are not spending as much money on the Bull blizzard does

Dolmar9191
Dolmar9191

@jinzo9988  Valve still makes more money than Blizzard thanks to Steam. WoW makes money because retards refuse to let go of that shitty game.