DOTA 2 - Losing Potential Customers?
First things first, I understand 100% that DOTA 2 is one of the top free games on Steam and has an enormous following. However, in recent years, similar games such as Smite and League of Legends have stayed even and passed the marquee title, so what changed. What do these other MOBAs have that have led to them overtaking DOTA 2 in the rankings. The chart below shows how the 4 most popular MOBA games compare. The one thing that really shows up when I look at it is that Smite and League of Legends have similar stats in categories that would make them more appealing than DOTA 2. One of those things is the characters. In DOTA 2, all characters are free, which is one less thing that can keep people hooked and playing - unlocking all of the characters. Another thing that Smite and League have is map variety. Every game of DOTA 2 is on the same map, so the game may become repetitive and boring.
Another thing that I would like to acknowledge is the community. In my experience, the DOTA 2 community is relatively quiet while the League of Legends community is renowned for its' toxicity. However because League of Legends regularly hands out Perma bans (Permanent bans) to players reported for toxicity, Steam's VAC ban is reserved for hacking or cheating only. This means that DOTA 2 players have a lot less restrictions on toxicity, leaving for the potential of a lot of games ruined by jerks. HOWEVER, the statistics for the number of League of Legends players is quite probably influenced by their banning system. If every banned player creates a new account (with some of them probably getting banned again and creating even more accounts) a single person can easily count as many different users. Meanwhile, only one user can play DOTA 2 per Steam account. The hassle of multiple Steam accounts is the only way to have one person play on multiple DOTA 2 accounts. (Smite also has the multiple accounts per download, as you can sign out and sign in with a different account in the interface).
The question ends up being "Do the factors discussed above affect the player base enough to steal potential DOTA 2 players - and are the number of players really 60 million apart per month?" The truth hurts. While DOTA 2 had gained more players, League of Legends has gained many more since the publishing of the chart displayed. While there are many inactive League accounts, the number of active ones still far surpasses the amount of active DOTA 2 players. The reasoning is simple. It is far easier to download League of Legends online than to download Steam, create an account, and then download DOTA. Another reason is marketing. While surfing the web, I have seen numerous League advertisements, but have never once seen one for DOTA 2 (Including an experiment in which I only searched DOTA 2 and related things over a 4 day period in an attempt to find DOTA 2 advertisements through AdSense). So, is DOTA 2 losing the MOBAs battle? Yes, and it's not even close.