League of Legends, Dota 2 help PC gaming overtake consoles globally, says analyst

Patrick Carlson at

The global market for PC games has "surpassed console games," according to a recent interview with industry analyst David Cole at PCR. Cole, who produces games industry reports through his firm DFC Intelligence, says two factors are at play in the worldwide growth in PC gaming revenue—the ubiquity of the PC platform and the extreme popularity of online games such as League of Legends and Dota 2.

"Among core gamers there is a heavy overlap with most console gamers also playing on a PC," Cole says. "The big difference is that consoles are now the luxury item and PCs are the necessity. Just a few years ago the reverse was true. This means PCs have the broader audience."

It's not the first time this year we've heard how the interest surrounding free-to-play LoL and Dota 2 has helped expand the total global market for PC games. DFC Intelligence projected in January that the total market for PC gaming would reach $25 billion for 2014, up from $22 billion, fueled at least in part by the ascension of the MOBA genre.

"The MOBA games League of Legends and Dota 2 dominate everything else by an order of magnitude in terms of more usage than other products," Cole says. "In the first part of 2014 we saw some signs that may change with the introduction of new titles and some increased play of games outside the MOBA category."

A quick glance at the player statistics from Steam will tell you that Dota 2 has a firm grip on the imagination of PC gamers, and with its reportedly 27 million "daily active players," LoL has a few fans as well. But Cole says a some new games are also beginning to take hold. In this category he puts DayZ, Rust, and Hearthstone as new entries in his list for the top 20 most played games for the beginning of 2014.