The MOBA genre began to take shape when Defense of the Ancients – the mod for Warcraft III – was first released back in 2003. Now, over a decade later, the genre is flooded with all sorts of different titles; League of Legends, Dota 2, Heroes of Newerth, Smite… the list goes on, and continues to grow. It is certainly crowded, but the now 6 year old League of Legends remains the top MOBA, and according to EEDAR, will hold that position for the foreseeable future.
The EEDAR report itself is far too large to include in this single article. If you do want to page through it yourself, you can do so right here (it’s free). I would recommend taking a gander – some of the numbers are truly mind boggling.
It entails a variety of different statistics, including the likes of MOBA revenue, monetization, and player demographics. An article from Gamasutra points out this interesting bit of information:
EEDAR predicts that in 2016, League of Legends will lead the genre with a 66% marketshare followed by Dota 2 at 14%. Yet the next two largest titles, Heroes of the Storm and SMITE,succeed largely due to their innovative approaches.
League of Legends is expected to hold the top spot in 2016, and not just by some small, fractional margin. Its closest contender, as expected, is Dota 2, sitting with a share of 14% overall. Off-track, but I feel I need to mention this; Valve funded the majority of the Dota 2 TI4 prizepool last year, a whopping $10,923,980, via the community. What sort of insane prize pool would Riot pull of if they implemented something similar for their annual championship? It’s a scary, yet exciting thought for eSport.
Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm sits in 3rd place with a respectable 7%. This is quite an achievement actually, especially considering that the game hasn’t officially been released. Oddly enough, Heroes of Newerth doesn’t feature at all, even though the same EEDAR report claims that it currently the 4th largest MOBA. Perhaps they expect it to taper off horribly next year? Smite, the MOBA with a third person twist is expected to sit in 4th place with 2.5% instead.
This order of MOBA dominance is to be expected really. Players tend to stick to what they know and love, and because League of Legends and Dota have been out for longer, that’s where most of the MOBA gamers currently are. As it stands, I don’t see anything changing, at least not for a very long time. What I can’t wrap my head though is that League of Legends has such a respectable lead. Will that ever change? Only time will tell.
Last Updated: April 21, 2015