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League of Legends' popularity keeps plummeting as WoW takes over

Published: 15:33, 29 September 2018
Riot Games
Splash art for Nunu & Willump after the champion update
League of Legends - If you get autofilled jungle, just play Nunu and permagank, and hope someone carries

League of Legends' popularity has been in a steady decline for the duration of 2018 but the extent of player loss only became evident recently, as World of Warcraft overtook League after years when it comes to revenue in a single month.

Dungeon Fighter Online dethroned League of Legends as the highest grossing PC video game a couple of months back which came as a surprise to some, as this was the first instance of any game pulling such a feat in years. Analysts could, however, see this coming since League of Legends' popularity decline pretty much started with 2018 and the start of Season 8.

Poor balance decisions, lightning-fast rise of Fortnite and PR blunders all affected League in a negative way, but the game spent months of 2018 at the top of PC revenue charts before Dungeon Fighter Online took the spot. The next few months saw League of Legends staying in #2 spot which it has now lost to World of Warcraft, marking the worst performing year since 2014.

World of Warcraft made $161 million in August 2018 according to SuperData but this number doesn't involve the pre-orders in the months leading up to release of Battle for Azeroth expansion. Blizzard scored the big one with Battle for Azeroth, while Riot Games found themselves on the opposite end of the success spectrum.

While there are no exact numbers on how much League of Legends earned in August 2018, SuperData did state that the earnings are 21 per cent lower than they were in August 2017. That's quite the drop considering the wild growth of Riot Games over the years which currently employs about 2.500 people.

Riot Games Splash art for Zoe, the Aspect of Twilight in League of Legends League of Legends - Zoe

We detected something was fishy back in April 2018 when Riot Games announced plans for the next ranked season, just three months after Season 8 started. Now it seems that our predictions turned out to be true, but cutting the budget of esports, one of the game's main selling points doesn't seem to be the way to go.


League of Legends - showcase of several champion splash arts

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