Raptr: Most Played Games August 2013

Call of Duty: Black Ops II was the #1 game played for August. However, Raptr’s focus on this month’s review is about DOTA2 and LoL. For me, I really only cared about RIFT and the fact that their F2P subscription model continues to impress. Oddly, they did not reveal top PC, Xbox 360, and PS3 titles as they’ve done the past few months.

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RAPTR’S MOST PLAYED GAMES: AUGUST 2013 — DOTA 2 TOPS LEAGUE OF LEGENDS

A new champion has taken the field. And we’re not talking about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which is once again in at the top slot overall.

No, the big news is that after a few brief shots at the crown, Valve’s DOTA 2 surpassed Riot Games’ smash-hit League of Legends in both total players and total playtime for the month of August based on gameplay data from Raptr’s 18 million members.

Italicize that last part in your mind if you need to — Raptr’s membership skews more North America-centric than the total gaming audience, so we aren’t saying categorically that more people spent more time playing DOTA 2 than LoL. But among Raptr members, they definitely did, although it was close. Also, this list includes PC and Xbox 360 games only — Sony and Nintendo don’t let players share gameplay data publicly.

LoL vs. DOTA 2 Analysis

League of Legends shot to the top of our playtime charts due in part to its wildly popular spectator modes, tournament livestreams, and world championships. DOTA 2 officially launched (after an extended beta) on July 9 and just concluded its own livestreamed championship event, The International, which ran August 7-11.

No doubt that had a strong effect on DOTA 2′s numbers. LoL’s Season 3 World Championships just finished up last week, giving Riot a big opportunity to recoup.

But Valve’s challenger has nipped at LoL’s heels for months now. DOTA 2 first passed LoL in total players on March 3 — coincidentally, right when LoL servers went down (possibly due to a denial-of-service attack). That gave DOTA 2 a free shot at taking the lead for a day. A few isolated days followed where DOTA 2 came within a few hundred players of LoL’s total…or leapfrogged it by six or seven thousand without warning.

Those events occasionally coincided with Riot releasing major patches — typically a source of downtime for online games. But even with servers up and running at capacity, Riot’s numbers have taken a substantial hit of late. Total LoL playtime hours have dropped 13% in the last 30 days. New members in that same timeframe are up a healthy 27%, but overall unique active members are down 6%.

That suggests older, established players are drifting away, and the new players coming in aren’t engaging as deeply.

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By contrast, in the same 30-day window, DOTA 2 saw an 11% increase in unique active members while new signups were down 3%. It’s the exact opposite of LoL’s problem…players are engaging long term, but the influx of new blood is starting to dip.

Pushing into the first week of September, it looks so far like a fairly even split between days favoring League of Legends and those carried by DOTA 2. With the glow of The International pretty much faded and LoL’s incredibly popular World Championships happening last week, it’s likely LoL’s numbers will angle straight up again in the middle of the month. But the recent erosion of its player base should be a serious cause for concern if the trend continues after the World Championships. And DOTA 2′s numbers prove that if Riot Games opens the door, Valve’s increasingly popular MOBA will walk right on through.

Raptr: Most Played Games (PC, Xbox 360) in June 2013

There are some BIG surprises here. RIFT has a MASSIVE month, absolutely crushing its nearest competition and pulls in more gaming hours than the bottom half of the entire Top 20 combined.

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RAPTR’S MOST PLAYED GAMES: JUNE 2013 — NOW WITH PC AND XBOX 360-SPECIFIC TOP 20 LISTS

Aside from newcomer State of Decay and a resurgent Fable III, June’s Most Played list doesn’t hold too many surprises. Total playtime was up 16% over the previous month, however, and MOBAs League of Legends and DOTA 2 both posted significant playtime gains as well.

Note: This list, based on playtime data from Raptr’s 18 million users, includes PC and Xbox 360 games only — Sony and Nintendo don’t let players share gameplay data publicly, so that’s why no The Last of Us or Animal Crossing in the rankings.

The Share number by each game represents that title’s gameplay time as a percentage of the total time spent on the top 1000 games played by Raptr users, and is useful for comparing the relative amount of play time between particular games.

HIGHLIGHTS

Last month Rift enjoyed a big playtime bump among Raptr members due to a series of Raptr Rewards, but this month Rift’s transition to free to play was a significant factor. While we can’t quantify the F2P-related increase exactly, month over month Rift playtime is up 95%.

The rise and rise of popular free-to-play MOBAs League of Legends and DOTA 2 continued in June, with both posting their largest monthly playtime gains so far this year, up 36% and 45% respectively.

And if you’re wondering how Fable III, a game that came out in 2010, could suddenly catapult up 157 spots — it was a free download for Xbox Live Gold subscribers in the latter half of June.

State of Decay, on the other hand, earned its spot the old-fashioned way — by clearing over 250k copies in its first two days in the Xbox Live Marketplace and 500k in the first week, making it the second-best-XBLA seller after Minecraft. Not a bad debut for developer Undead Labs.

Borderlands 2 may have fallen a few spots this month, but the Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC (launched on 6/25) is responsible for the largest playtime bump we’ve seen for the game so far. In the final week of June Borderlands 2 was the sixth most played game on Raptr.

A steady stream of content updates are definitely having a positive impact for Guild Wars 2 over the last three months — the Dragon Bash event and Sky Pirates of Tyria update both launched in June, and playtime was up 64% compared to the game’s low point this year, March.

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PC HIGHLIGHTS

Rift and Rumble Fighter both enjoyed Reward-related boosts this month, while a free Steam weekend and sale in early June bumped Civilization V up the ranks. In the three weeks post Steam sale Civ gameplay was still about double what it had been before.

F2P MMO Marvel Heroes had a good launch, but by the end of the month it was definitely fading and won’t be in the top 20 next month, barring new content or other events to reignite the community.

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XBOX 360 HIGHLIGHTS

Not a lot to report here — aside from Fable III’s rocket up the charts (discussed above), a couple other old-timers got a boost. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 playtime was up 25% month over month…and if you know why, tell us in the comments. And Dark Souls was the XBL Deal of the Week in early June.

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