Dota 2 is currently one of the most popular games around, even more popular than the legendary World of Warcraft if we are to look at the numbers. A user on Reddit noticed that the ‘ unique players in last month ‘ counter found on the official Dota 2 blog now shows over 7.86 million. By comparison, Blizzard’s MMO only has active 7.8 million subscribers as of December 30, 2013.
Of course, the two are very different in many ways, even though Dota 2 is technically inspired by the Warcraft universe. But these games are worlds apart when it comes to genre and business model. World of Warcraft players must pay a subscription fee of $15 every month if they want to keep playing, and they also have to buy the game itself, including expansions.
On the other hand, Dota 2 is a free-to-play MOBA which doesn’t require you to purchase anything. There is a wide variety of cosmetic items, announcer packs, couriers, keys, recipes, and much more. But all of these are optional and although a user might end up spending more than $15 a month of Valve’s game, very few do. Under these circumstances it’s hard to say which company makes more money per month, but the numbers themselves tell an interesting story.
It is perhaps ironic that the original Dota was just a Warcraft 3 mod and Blizzard refused to make it into a full game. Valve did see the potential though, and agreed to work with the mod’s creator in order to develop the game in a brand new engine. If Blizzard would have accepted the original deal, the situation could have been very different now. Dota 2 would be adding to the company’s revenue instead of being one of it’s main competitors.
It’s a known fact that World of Warcraft has been on the decline in recent years, but maybe the upcoming expansion Warlords of Draenor will help it regain a bit of its former glory. On the contrary, Dota 2 is doing very well and has recently received an update called ‘ Spring Cleaning ‘. The International 2014 is also coming soon, the event takes place during July 18-21 and the 10.000 tickets that were put up for sale were gone within an hour.
Luckily, Blizzard has a lot of plans in mind and this a been a great year for them until now. Aside from Warlords of Draenor, the company has already released Hearthstone – Heroes of Warcraft, Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls and Heroes of the Storm Alpha. An expansion for Hearthstone named Curse of Naxxramas is also on the way and let’s not forget about Blizzcon, which will take place during November 7-8.