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 astronomical number, it represents the highest player count seen in the game since June. Alongside this is an uptick in the average player count, the first gain in that category since April.
This is an important milestone for Valve given that it follows the first major effort by the publisher to incentivize regular play of Dota 2 in some time. This includes the return of the Halloween-themed Diretide event and an expansion of Dota Plus’ shard system.
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The Dota 2 player player count has been on a relatively fixed cycle over the years, revolving around a spike in popularity from The International Battle Pass. 2019 saw the Dota 2 player count plunge after the end of the battle pass, which led to historically low player counts in January 2020.
Spring 2020 saw business pick up in Dota 2 and a number of other esports titles, but the game entered into a steady decline in May despite the launch of the TI10 Battle Pass. That put Dota 2 on pace to dip down to numbers from early on in the game’s existence, but Valve has managed to head off that decline.
The TI10 Battle Pass’ guild feature was made a permanent part of the game and was tied into an expansion of the Dota Plus shard system. This gave players rewards for continued play in a way that hadn’t really existed prior. On October 29, Valve gave fans another treat by bringing back the Diretide game mode for the first time since 2013. This combination could be the start of a climb back to relevance for Dota 2.
Valve certainly can’t rest on its laurels, however. Though the Dota 2 player count has jumped, it remains to be seen how much it will gain and whether this will hold up over the coming weeks and months.