Stats: League Of Legends In “Quite Popular” Shocker

I hear some parents are so addicted to these games that they have to be reminded they have a daughter to dote on as well as a DOTA.

From Forbes and Xfire come some truly jaw-dropping stats about how much time people currently spend on games. Over the last year, Minecraft clocked up 371,635,651 hours, while World of Warcraft scored a life-sapping 622,378,909. Both however pale to the game at the top of the chart, League of Legends. 1,292,502,456 hours, in just the US and EU. Coincidentally, that’s also the amount of time you have to play before people stop calling you a noob.

These aren’t hard stats of course, but extrapolations from Xfire’s data – 21 million members and their gaming from July 1st 2011 to June 30th 2012. It would be fascinating to know how they tally with the real-world numbers, but it’s rare we ever get a glimpse of those unless a company has something specific to announce. The really interesting numbers though I suspect wouldn’t come from big gamer-games like Diablo 3 and Call of Duty, but the likes of Solitaire and Bejewelled over on Facebook land. The word ‘gamer’ has never been more universally appropriate, even if many would never wear the badge. Someone’s buying those Match-3 games, after all.

Check out the full stats here. To complain about the absence of Heroes of Newerth, DOTA 2, or some other MOBA/ARTS from the list, click here and await further instructions.


  1. pakoito says:

    inb4 Ad Populum “this is the best moba”

  2. jon_hill987 says:

    They will have their work cut out if they want to keep ahead of DOTA 2, that is topping the Steam Stats and isn’t even out yet…

    • bananaphone says:

      You can buy access to the DOTA 2 beta… your argument is invalid.

      • MonkeyShines says:

        You can buy it for like $40 when the game is supposed to be free to play. Please don’t tell me Dota 2 has as many players as it will get in the future.

        • pastatdude says:

          You beat me to it. Though I was going to say, “Most people will wait for the free-to-play game to be available and use their money for the Steam Sale instead, so your argument is invalid.”

      • ImAUnicorn says:

        It was top of the steam stats before you could buy an invite, YOUR argument is invalid.

    • VeliV says:

      But then again you require steam to play Dota. This stats probably comes from just a fraction of LoLs userbase.

      Will be interesting to see how this all turns out.

      • Sarganym says:

        I’m personally just not that interested in playing a re-skin of something I sank ungodly hours into as a high schooler. I wish Valve the best though.

    • Aemony says:

      It will be interesting to see how it turns out, but I really doubt that Dota2 will ever threaten League of Legends in regards to sheer numbers of players playing. One of the major differences between the two is just how easy it is to pick up and play, an element in which LoL has an advantage over Dota2.

      Thought RIOT could learn from Valve in a lot of areas. While the gameplay and progression system is fine, the Adobe AIR launcher/client and the game engine still makes me sad whenever I sneak a peak on Dota2. Not to mention that I’d kill for an open region matchmaking system like Dota2 have.

      Pure technicality, Dota2 easily beats LoL hands down. But gameplay-wise and how mainstream friendly it is? That’s a win for LoL.

      • cyrenic says:

        I agree with you on all those points. Just a guess, but I think LoL will lose more players to Guild Wars 2 than DotA2.

      • Vorphalack says:

        There isn’t really any barrier to entry for lower skilled players in DotA 2. If the matchmaking works properly then new players (or bad players) will get matched against each other. You don’t need to know every minute detail of DotA to get a good game. The major difference is that DotA has a much higher skill ceiling than any of the other clones, which wont impact the majority directly. It does make for some good tournaments though, and that might end up stealing quite a lot of players from LoL. Especially considering the superb replay and live game viewer DotA already has.

        • cyrenic says:

          But the skill floor in DotA2 is higher as well. Gold loss on death, for example.

          LoL’s popularity is starting to produce huge numbers of viewers in the competitive scene, and it’s still growing in momentum. DotA2 might be the better competitive game, so it’ll be interesting to see if it can break LoL’s momentum.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Things like gold loss apply to both teams though. New players might notice more snowballing in games, but in theory they should be on the winning snowball 50% of the time. I think for tournaments they will co-exist for quite a while. Like I said earlier, LoL does have some catching up to do with its replay viewer and integrating tournament streams into the game browser. Some competition will do it good.

    • thestage says:

      more people play league of legends than have ever installed steam

      • Vorphalack says:

        The Steam wiki estimates the number of active accounts in January 2012 at over 40 million. So, erm, no.

  3. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Dayum nigga , luk all them sumz science and sh1t. Numbers like from a mule.. mule.c-i-o-u-s molecaral … whatever atom code hack numberz from da fizaxxs stuff foshoo.

    Dem haxx0rz. Leetah mutherfooker top on the list.

    Thatz mah game.

    Ps. Never played it. (̊ − ̊ ) HO!

    • stahlwerk says:

      That –emoticon? how would you even do that?

      • BlackeyeVuk says:

        Erm… just google Japanese text emoticons.

        link to

        Like this for example. You can copy/paste to combine for your liking.

        Gemmeh highfive for happy face! (¬_¬)ノ

        ( ^_^)ノ

        • BlackeyeVuk says:

          Oooohhh this one is cool also…

          Bitach please … (ノ´ー`)ノ chill. Im smarter- like emoticon. :”D

          EDIT: … Now this is just plain silly top ʘ‿ʘ

        • RegisteredUser says:

          Now I’m reminded of monsterboobed youtube wonder Hannah Minx.


          Brb, need to call a certain exgf..

  4. serioussgtstu says:

    I don’t play any moba games for the same reason I never go to the bookies; I have no idea how either of them work. These two factors combined mean that my ignorance saves me ridiculous amounts of both time and money. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  5. Puffycheeks288 says:

    This does not surprise me considering a normal game of summoner’s rift can take as long as 1 and 1/2 hours to complete.

    • Ringwraith says:

      Also, time is clocked even when you’re not in a game, simply have the client up will track hours, and since it has in-built chat and friends lists, a lot of people just leave it running there.

      • dsi1 says:


        That reminds me of WoT claiming they’re the largest single sharded MMO when all they have is a lobby system.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Also, how many people run x-fire to play minecraft? Some do certainly, but you don’t really need a social service for a single-player game that benefits from a sense of isolation.

      • VeliV says:

        I’d guess most people who has xfire installed.

        • fish99 says:

          The point he was making is that’s probably a minority of minecraft players. Heck, I’ve played a ton of minecraft but have never heard of xfire before.

    • bananaphone says:

      Not sure what moba you’re playing, or the level of downy retardation possessed by your teammates, but I’ve never had a game go for 90 minutes. I’ve played the game for 2 years.

      • Ringwraith says:

        Had a match go on for 78 minutes yesterday.
        Often a long match is a sign of a good one, seeing as the teams have to be pretty damn evenly-matched for that to happen.

        • Pony Canyon says:

          That’s never been my experience. Long matches are almost always caused by players too inexperienced to notice that they have an advantage and that they can leverage it.

          Good, close games played by competent players last around 40-50 minutes and no more. Any mistake made past the 30-minute mark usually ends in a match outcome.

          • Ringwraith says:

            Yeah, but when both sides are being very careful about not making mistakes, or when team fights are rather even trade-offs, you tend to get a fairly drawn-out game.
            Neither side had the advantage really, and when one side did, they used as it as much as possible, but sometimes it couldn’t be used to much effect.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Yes, the more skilled the teams involved the quicker it will come to an end. There is no way that two experienced teams would end up at 78 minutes. People must have been missing the opportunity to push. I mean even Dota 2 would be pushing it at 78 minutes.

      • Brun says:

        Extremely long matches are an indication that the two teams are both evenly matched and not making many mistakes. Once you cross the 25-30 minute mark even the slightest mistake can be unrecoverable.

        • InternetBatman says:

          I buy the evenly matched, but not the not making mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes. I’ve found that very long matches are normally the result of players being evenly matched and unwilling to push. I am a very, very defensive player, but eventually it comes time to win or lose.

          • Ringwraith says:

            It’s less ‘one slight mistake’ and more one major one, and it has to be seized upon by the other team (which sometimes doesn’t happen) otherwise you get away with it.

          • DrGonzo says:

            No, one slight mistake and it’s over passed an hour. By the 50 minute mark their team will take out one of you towers in around 3 seconds. If they tower dive and get wiped they would still take out the tower easily. The team composition must have been all off, no carry’s etc.

            But by nature of the game, there is no way two experienced teams would end up that way. It’s part of the reason I keep going back to LoL in spite of Dota 2.

            Two cowardly teams however, maybe.

      • InternetBatman says:

        I had one game of 3v3 go on for 114 minutes. One of my teammates was too scared to push, so we just turtled, and turtled, and turtled. Then we lost.

      • mazzoli says:

        I’m quite enjoying picturing a person covered in soft feathers with a vacant expression on their face playing League of Legends.

        Downy retardation indeed.

  6. InternetBatman says:

    I went through a pretty long lol phase but this seems like a bit of stretch.

  7. devook says:

    This just in, Steam is the most-played game of all time.

  8. Sidion says:

    I thought at first; “Ah, that’s not THAT bad.”

    Then I opened up calculator.

    This is equal to 53,854,269 days…
    147,545+ years….


    • Salix says:

      Its not actually that bad, that total divided by 21 million members is roughly 60 hours over the year if my calculations are right.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Just think of all the third world countries that could be dragged out of poverty with that amount of collective community effort…

  9. LTK says:

    Might I just point out that the alt-text puns were legen – wait for it… – dary?

    • Richard Cobbett says:

      And yet someone, somewhere complained that it should have been a more general term. And had it been about a pre-release version of a member of the genre, I’d happily have supplied “MOBA Beta Blues.”

      While assuming they didn’t know their ARTS from their elbow. LOL.

    • Safewood says:

      Why does nobody ever use the “and I hope your not lactose intollerant …” part?

  10. Chakawi says:

    These stats look quite incorrect to me. I really doubt the validity of the data.

  11. Memphis-Ahn says:

    It’s also longer than the combined lifetimes of LoL players!

  12. BurningPet says:

    We want revenue stats! please, make us all be jealous in Riot games.

  13. CommanderZx2 says:

    These “stats” are garbage, most of the LoL numbers comes from people just leaving it going afk or sitting around in lobbies.

    Also TF2 and Dota 2 contantly have triple the number of players of MoW 3 on steam stats daily, but they aren’t even listed? Xfire is completely worthless for this, as it doesn’t count all games and it doesn’t differenciate between someone actually playing or just having it running.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I didn’t think you could go afk in lobbies anymore? They introduced the auto kick after a few short minutes.

      Fact is, the game is crazy popular. Easily the most popular multiplayer game about. But these stats are probably quite wrong. It’s only including Xfire, so the stats must be much much higher than that. I know me and my group of players don’t use Xfire at all and between us we have tens of thousands of games under our belts.

      • Carighan Maconar says:

        I don’t really feel as if it’s massively popular compared to some other games (mentioning D3, WoW or TF2 here).

        Because, for all it’s supposedly so popular, none of the people I know IRL (and they’re ~all gamers), none of the roughly 25 people I actively chat to a lot in WoW, none of the people I play D3 with, none of my Pen&Paper people and no one at my work (and they’re roughly all gamers, too) plays LoL actively.
        The very same people play dozens of games over a month, and keep coming back to TF2 or WoW, all the time.

        Maybe it’s just mutually exclusive, sure, can only play one of WoW, TF2 and LoL because of how much time they eat up.

        But, they all tried it. And they broke either on how insanely newbie-unfriendly it is (that was my experience, too), or on the Pando Media Booster for the newer players (which caused me to delete the installer when I was interested in re-trying it a few weeks ago).

        LoL feels veeeery uninviting.
        And from everyone I know and game with, this is the agreed upon take on it. The malware, the feature-set, the community, all turns people away. And hence, everyone just plays other stuff. All the time.

        I’d wager to say that since in 2012 XFire is in itself a niche software, these numbers are heavily biased. Could it be that LoL or XFire promoted one another years ago? Can it be LoL people organize through XFire?
        In any case, these numbers are tiny, especially if LoL players keep their client active for socialization, then the actual “played LoL” could be anything from 10% to 90% of the value, more or less.

  14. Brun says:

    People still use Xfire? What is this, 2004?

    • Radex says:

      Of course they do. Most are CoD players, though. They have been around since the first one. It’s a great way to join a clan and find wars/scrims.

  15. NightShift says:

    I honestly don’t care about LoL anymore, with Planetside 2 just coming soom(tm) and Smite is a blast of fun, I couldn’t care less. So why am I posting this?

    Also, League of Legendface?

  16. Radex says:

    Most LoL players just have the launcher open all the time and not actually playing the game.

  17. aepervius says:

    That statistic is inteerresting but cannot be extrapolated to the general population. XFIRE user are only a subset of *self selected* gamer. It could be that they are representative of the general population…. Or it could be that they are not, and that xfire user incicentaly like LoL a lot. Without a better check you don’t know and can’t extrapolate.