(Credit: Riot Games)
Blizzard just felt a chill run up its spine, because a new report by the makers of in-game messaging app Xfire shows that there's a new king of the hill when it comes to the time gamers spend playing: League of Legends. Developed by Riot Games, the free-to-play MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) title for PC ate up 1.3 billion hours of players' time over the past year, and that's just among those who use the Xfire service.
In contrast, World of Warcraft was the second most-played PC title, racking up 622 million gameplay hours. Third place went to the indie darling Minecraft at just shy of 380 million hours. Released on May 15 of this year, Diablo III is a relative newcomer to the list but has already amassed an impressive 17 million hours in less than two months.
Blizzard isn't oblivious to the popularity of League of Legends; it's currently working on its own MOBA add-on for StarCraft II, its popular real-time strategy title -- accounting for 164 million hours on Xfire -- that has become something of a national pastime in South Korea. Valve, maker of hits such as Half-Life 2 and Portal 2, is jumping on the MOBA bandwagon as well with its upcomingDota 2.
Riot Games has seen tremendous success with League of Legends, yet the title remains inaccessible to a potentially lucrative market: Mac users. The company experimented with a Mac release of the game in beta for more than a year, but ended up scrapping its plans due to difficulties it was having in keeping the PC and Mac versions in sync.
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