League of Legends splash

League of Legends brings in more money than any other video game in the world — and it’s not especially close.

That’s the news from SuperData Research today, which came out with worldwide top 10 lists for the highest-grossing digital games of 2015. At the top of all three lists sits League of Legends, which SuperData computes has having brought in $1.628 billion over the previous calendar year. That’s nearly $300 million more than the next best game, Supercell’s mobile Clash of Clans and $500 million more than the #2 PC game, SmileGate’s CrossFire. The top-grossing console game, Activision’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, made just $355 million total, putting it at #14 if you were to combine all three lists.

In terms of free-to-play games, World of Tanks is #5 on PCs, with revenues of $446 million, followed by Lineage ($339m), MapleStory ($253m), and Dota 2 ($238m). However, remember that these are estimates, and one is at least certain to be off by a significant margin. According to NCSoft’s own reporting, Lineage brought in about $192 million for the first 3/4 of 2015. Getting to $339 million with the final quarter’s sales — which we should know any day now — seems highly unlikely. A total closer to $250 million seems more likely.

Still, even taking some margin for error into account, League of Legends is almost certainly #1 in the business, several times larger than its closest MOBA competitor, Dota 2. No, this isn’t a firm statement that it’s better, but numbers are numbers.

the author

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

13 Readers Commented

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  1. trionisshit on January 28, 2016

    PURE SHII T FOR BRAINLESS! Over and over one map, for sick degenerates , CONTROLS SUCK ALSO,Anyway even with good controls its a poop

    • Just a moba player on February 2, 2016

      To be honest, for all the dota 2 players who seem to be angry at this article like “trionisshit”, you have to see that league of legends has been around much longer than dota 2 it isnt suprising the game which put moba titles as popular as they are now to earn that much more than Dota, btw trionisshit, LoL has currently 4 maps, Summoner’s Rift, The Twisted Treeline, Howling Abyss and
      The Crystal Scar, although yes, for a 5vs5 mode you only have summoner’s rift, but if LoL didnt get the popularity it did, would we actually have dota2 right now? because its obvious dota2 tried to take advantage of LoL popularity results and also tried to take advantage of it’s predecessor, dota, about the controls I do indeed prefer league of legends compared to dota seems more fluid although I think I’m being a bit biased although I did play both games, so to conclude the map may be the same but no matter how many matches I did in the same map it never felt to me an over and over again one map repetition with almost each match a diferent champion with diferent mechanics the same for the opponent in my lane and which role I played

  2. Zingy on January 27, 2016

    I am not surprised by LoL being first. I’m surprised by CrossFire even being on that list. Srsly, CrossFire? I supposed it has to be thanks to Chinesse market or something like that. I remember i was playing it 5 or more years ago and it felt outdated already (and a lot of cheaters). So this number really surprises me!

  3. Reader on January 26, 2016

    Sad is the fact that the company is too greedy and never gave anything solid to players (like Heroes of the storm or Dota 2 did, so many times). All we got are small portrait icons and for Christmas, a very limited number of skins with discounts, made me feel like we didn’t even deserved the discounts. (I bought one, and after I read this article title, I feel regret)
    Even worse than this is the chroma packs addition (Heroes of the storm rip off) wich they charge money for, this being an excuse for money issues on future development.
    I’m interested to see how far they can go with the skins, without giving any of them to players for free.

    • Rhaedric on January 27, 2016

      I agree with you. Dota gives out all 110 heroes from the absolute start. For something that makes as much as money as LoL there’s no need for champion rotation. Why can’t they just unlock all the champions from the start?

      Another thing is Valve puts out quite a lot of events. The year beast gave us free sets for every beast match won (For people thinking it was pay to win, I won 11 sets out of 18 matches and I didn’t pay a dime)

      • kek on January 27, 2016

        Because of hype, league fed up on dota 1 players that craved for a dota with better graphic engine which failed to deliver until much later. Not only that, new generations nowadays are into anime and hentai, hence the kinky skins on League is more appealing to young audiences whom are full of free time and mom’s credit card. Check the demographics.

        I have 2k hrs of league and 4k hrs of Dota, never seen anyone less than 15 y/o. Sure there is, but as high as there is on League? Not even close. Check pro players as well.

        Check League’s twitch streamers, bunch of chicks with half of their tits out begging for money while they watch other people play. LEGIT.

        Get a grip people, how downy you gotta’ be to not realize how bad that game is.

        • Lol on January 27, 2016

          As much downie is as to play dota 2 and hear the fcking russians curse you in their language.There’s nothing more i hate in this world than russians.Really.Dont act smart or sth.If league did that with free rotations and sht where would be it’s income from?only skins?but i bet people cant play without skins cause they jelly and they want free skins right?fcking greedy people are gonna be greedy.

        • Xevian on January 27, 2016

          you yourself called the LOL is for newer generation proves the point the game is hit and will remain best for foreseen future.

          The current market is that,a game only garners fame when it generates big revenue, simple as that.

          Riot dont give a damn “Older” people like you,they are most popular and they will always be. Its time you change. 🙂

          Also regarding “chicks begging for money”,why not? They have assets,they have looks and hence they are making money.Its called marketing dumbass

      • Xevian on January 27, 2016

        They dont wanna unlock because its a fair and more profitable practice.And people like me who love to grind some game currency to buy a champion which we like to excel loves this model.

        Dota 2 can sustain 110 free heroes because the valve as in whole is a big mega corporation who got a cheap deal from Dota and moba scene popularity.Steam is the biggest “Digital Market’ in the gaming scene.Every transaction has a % commission coming to valve which is huge.

        Riot implemented this model from the start of it where it could not have sustain all free heroes.Look at all moba games except dota 2… everyone has progression based model.

    • Xevian on January 27, 2016

      hohohoho butthurt Dota 2 fans!

      @Reader: Google up “League of legends hextech crafting”.The feature came late and it is coming for all freeloaders like you lol. Secondly why should they roll out free stuff??They got a very diverse staff and a superb facility to have their employees give their best.

      also who said they don’t give free stuff?. They released 3 Albums a.k.a “soundtracks” – Smite and Ignite,The music of league of legends and newly released album the warsongs.First one has metal themes,second has all epic music for different champions of game and last one is an EDM consisting work of a lot of EDM genre artists.All 3 albums give eargasmic music.

      A lot of game videos are made annually which are on the top of it awesome than nearly most of those stupid hollywood animated flicks.

      And how far they can go… they are already are a “GOD” in MOBA scene.

      • Aazog on January 27, 2016

        Ikr dota 2 fanboys everywhere. They would not admit it bu they are salty league makes more money than dota.

    • Itistrue on January 27, 2016

      True. tencent ( owner of riot/lol ) is just another scam company. they invest nothing in improving this game at all.

      But they sure do like to call people that gave them all that money “toxic” and ban them in order to force them to spend money again.

      • Mercy on January 27, 2016

        just because you gave money to a company doesnt mean you can insult people l0l