For fans of eSports, there’s a shift going on that for the most part has gone under the radar. New data from Xfire shows that Riot Games’ League of Legends is now officially the most played PC game in North America and Europe. When you add in the rise of the game in Korea, where it’s already beating out StarCraft II as the most popular game, it’s clear that League of Legends is here to stay.
According to a new list provided by DFC Intelligence in conjunction with Xfire, League of Legends gamers logged nearly 1.3 billion hours of gameplay. In second place was World of Warcraft, which despite some usage declines, still registered more than 600 million hours of gameplay (not including Asia).
“The fact that online games such League of Legends eclipsed more than a billion hours of online game time in a year is simply incredible and a testament to the fundamental shift currently sweeping through the games industry. By comparison, Bungie recently announced that the Halo franchise surpassed two billion hours of online play, but that’s over a period of seven years.” said David Cole, CEO of DFC Intelligence.
The report notes the recent popularity of the new Blizzard Entertainment title, Diablo III.
“Diablo III was not released until mid-May, but in just 45 days, usage of the game has equaled 172 million hours. Usage of course declines after launch, but it is still doing quite well and may surpass World of Warcraft in usage over the next year” said Cole.
extrapolating from actual usage data from more than 21 million Xfire members from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012.