With around half a million players at any one time — trailing only PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on SteamDota 2 isn’t exactly dying. But its player base is dwindling, and recent changes like biweekly updates and Dota Plus may not be enough to reverse the trend.

That’s the opinion expressed by SuperData, which has tracked Dota 2’s monthly player count over the past two years, which shows the game peaking around the time of the 7.0 update in late 2016 and declining steadily ever since. While Valve doesn’t reveal monthly player count, it does show current count and 24-hour peaks for all its games, and that, along with the data from Steam Charts, seem to back up the basics of SuperData’s claim. Steam Charts establishes Dota 2’s highest daily peak at 1,291,328 concurrent players in February 2016; it’s currently at 733,214, a 43% drop.

While SuperData doesn’t give any reason for the drop in players, it might just be the typical aging curve of the game, which includes other, newer, games taking some of its audience. That includes both newer MOBAs like Smite and Heroes of the Storm, as well as other competitive multiplayer games. And, of course, there are the battle royale games, like PUBG and Fortnite: Battle Royale, which are likely draining players away from everything else out there.

On the bright side, SuperData thinks Dota Plus can provide a more steady revenue stream for the game, which it says brought in $68 million in May from sales of the Battle Pass but only $24 million in November. Here’s another thought: Maybe Valve’s need for steadier income from its games is the reason Artifact will have a fixed price instead of being free-to-play.

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.

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  1. Virgil on April 19, 2018

    Broyale is the new cancer in gaming now…. mobas are just hiv

  2. kek on April 18, 2018

    You can also say mobas in general are in decline and battle royales are the new thing. Remember when every single company you knew and didn’t know made a moba? Well now it’s the same but battle royale. The same hype, just a different train.

  3. FTK on April 18, 2018

    if a game has a concurrent 5k or above players online per day i say its going great, the numbers might go down but the sheer active users are different from those casuals playing and SMITE/HOS is not going to drain the players, real reason where players are flocking too is FORTNITE and PUBG.

  4. Vinal on April 18, 2018

    You can tell that to Battlerite or SMITE. They are just hanging by a hair.

    • Skato on April 21, 2018

      I wouldn’t say 12k players on at a time is hanging by a hair. That’s just on steam, I’m sure there are a couple thousand more that don’t launch smite through steam. People seem to think if a game isn’t at the player base level of LoL or Fortnite it’s hanging by a hair. kek

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