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Dota Underlords' peak player count has dropped by more than 90 percent

(Image credit: Valve)

Dota Underlords, Valve's Early Access auto battler, has shed most of its players in the six months since it launched on Steam. In June, it peaked with more than 200,000 people playing concurrently, according to Steam Charts, but in the last day it's had fewer than 15,000. 

Spotted by Reddit user SharkyIzrod, the average player number has dwindled to just over 11,000, with peak players below 20,000. When Underlords launched, auto battlers seemed like the thing to watch, but interest in the genre as a whole seems to have sunk considerably since. 

The number has been dropping consistently every month, so it doesn't look like updates have tempted players to return yet. Recent Steam reviews are still mostly positive, however, so it doesn't look like widespread dissatisfaction is the cause. 

It calls to mind Artifact's troubles, unfortunately, which Valve ended up pausing and now averages around 100 players. In that case, however, the exodus was more immediate and severe, and Underlords isn't quite there yet—the player count hasn't settled, though.

Riot's auto battler bid, Teamfight Tactics, seemed to be doing a lot better the last time the company announced figures. In September, it apparently had a monthly player base of 33 million. It seems here to stay, then, but the future of the genre itself seems a lot less certain. 

Though the dip is less pronounced, Dota 2 also had a relatively saggy month. The first half of 2019 saw it get close to returning of the highs of 2015 and 2016, but over the last 30 days it's dropped to the lowest its been since 2014, with an average of 393,589 players and a peak of 627,790. 

Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long. He thinks labradoodles are the best dogs but doesn't get to write about them much.