Things appear to be slowing down for Valve’s popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena title Dota 2, as the game recently hit its lowest player count in nearly six years. Over the last 30 days, the number of active players dipped below 400,000 for this first time since January 2014.
Dota’s player count has been on fairly a steady decline since April. In that time, it’s lost close to 200,000 players. Between September and October alone, it shed about 16.5% of its total base.
The game’s player count traditionally rises around the time of The International, which takes place in August. Over the last five months, August saw the only growth in average players, and peak players hit a half-year high of 826,690.
How Valve Can Increase the Dota Player Count
Fluctuation in players is common in esports, especially as new games are released at an increasingly rapid pace. Though the decline in players is no serious threat to the community or the continued existence of the game, it will likely spurn Valve into making changes to encourage players to return.
One factor that may contribute to an increase in Dota’s player count is this month’s Outlanders update. Many players are hoping it will shake up the meta, which has gone unchanged for a while now.
Changes like a bigger carry pool and some updates to the MMR ranking system could cause former players to return to the game in droves. Additionally, better advertising and a more helpful introduction to the game for new players would encourage long-term growth in the Dota fanbase.
Despite the drop in player count, Dota 2 still remains the second most played game on Steam with 371,324 players. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive currently leads the chart with 403,316 active players.
What do you think? Will the Dota 2 player count return to its former glory by the end of the year? Or is this new low-point the beginning of the end? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Featured image: Flickr © Sergey Galyonkin