UP NEXT
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Invoker / Netflix

Dota 2 player count down despite Dragon's Blood, new player mode

Dota 2’s player count continues to fall, and that’s bad news for both the game's fans and Valve.

The reveal of new animated series DOTA: Dragon’s Blood was met warmly by fans who were hopeful that the show might bring in new players or lure back those who had left the game behind. And when this was followed by the long-awaited rollout of an improved new player experience for the game, many felt that big things were on the horizon for Dota 2. The cherry on top of all this was the ONE Esports Singapore Major, the first proper international tournament in Dota 2 in over a year.

All signs pointed towards March being a huge month for Dota 2, but that wasn't the case for the game itself. 

Dota 2’s player count dipped last month, with both its average player count and peak player count dropping from February according to Steam Charts. The game averaged 390,412.8 players and peaked at 648,875 in March, down from 404,832.1 and 651,615. It's a small decline, but given how much was going on for the game it's a shock that there's nothing to show for it as of yet in terms of player count.

The good news for Dota 2 fans is that things are seemingly set to improve slightly in April. The game hit over 670,000 concurrent players on April 4, the highest number since January. There is also a big update that includes a new hero set to arrive on April 9.

The big question moving forward is whether DOTA: Dragon's Blood and an improved new player experience can help the game actually grow, or if it's just a matter of slowing down its fade into obsolescence.

Read more:

Is Dota 2 dying?

DOTA: Dragon’s Blood having a minimal impact on Dota 2’s player count is worrying. The show received generally solid reviews and trended on Netflix, even ranking as the top-watched show in some regions, but hasn’t made an immediate impact on the player count. While the improved new player experience is important for Dota 2’s long-term growth potential, the lack of a short-term increase in interest surrounding Dota 2 is a surprise.

The bigger problem is that Valve continues to struggle with maintaining its established player base.

The blueprint for a popular free-to-play game is already out there. Fortnite, League of Legends, and other top free-to-play games have a steady stream of new content to keep players enticed. This was even seen with Valve’s neglected tactical shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, which hit new player count highs after the return of its Operation events.

If Valve can commit itself to regularly delivering fresh content for the game the way it did in years past, it could see the game actually level off after being on a steady decline since 2016. If Valve continues to keep its focus elsewhere, things are unlikely to change.

Visual Stories around the web

Apex Legends anti-cheat improvements may come in season 9

No dedicated page for this category

Olivia Richman

02/May/21 04:46

New legend? Check. New game mode? Check. Apex Legends has been exciting players with an abundance of content updates and now developers have confirmed other major changes. This time, Respawn...

Steam twice breaks record with 26.4 million concurrent users

Steven Rondina

09/Feb/21 05:45

Business is booming for Valve as Steam is setting new records again and again. One of the biggest video game industry stories of 2020 was the rapid growth of Steam, which was due in part to global...

Diretide increases Dota 2 player count for first time in months

Steven Rondina

04/Nov/20 11:36

Valve has rolled out some big changes to Dota 2’s player experience, and the early outlook is positive. On October 31, Dota 2 hit a concurrent player count of 723,280. While that’s not an...

CSGO is Steam's most-played game in October, beating Dota 2 and PUBG

Jessica Scharnagle

12/Nov/19 18:37

For the first time ever, Counter Strike:Global Offensive enjoyed the highest monthly average player count of any game on Steam, bringing in more players than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Dota...

Millions flock to Apex Legends, the latest battle royale

No dedicated page for this category

Steven Rondina

06/Feb/19 20:00

Apex Legends is taking the world by storm. The battle royale made by EA Games is just a few days old, but has already made its presence felt. Strong support from popular streamers coupled with a...
Matches
Time zone: UTC (GMT 0)
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Advertisement
Advertisement