Do you play League of Legends? Chances are increasingly good that the answer to that question is "yes." New numbers released this week by developer Riot Games claim the multiplayer online game, and biggest esport in the world, has expanded its player base to a stunning 27 million.
That’s roughly equivalent to the 13 most populated cities of the United States all playing the same game, every day. And that's just the hardcore players. It doesn't include the many other millions of casual fans who play on a weekly or monthly basis.
What’s more, the numbers also point to an outstanding amount of concurrent players regularly logged in at once--7.5 million, or just a tad shy of the total population of New York City. For another perspective, for World of Warcraft to compete with those numbers, every one of its players would need to log in at the same time.
League has been growing steadily since its launch in 2009. Just two years ago, Riot announced that 3 million regular concurrent and 12 million daily players were playing the game. Five months later, 2 million more had joined them.
That runaway growth has been complemented by many avenues of promotion—some of which has never been done before by a game developer. In October, Riot’s League World Championships brought the best teams in the world together to compete for over $2 million; 32 million online viewers tuned in. In October, it produced an anime-style promo for the Grand Finals that featured the players battling each other with in-game abilities.
The company's finding increasingly extravagant ways to introduce new playable characters, or "champions" in League parlance, Riot released its first ever music video featuring a brand-new champion that players could soon purchase. The chaotic Jinx instantly became a fan favorite. Other avenues include a co-produced song with the Crystal Method to promote the champion Lucian, and a launch page for the newest champion, Yasuo, styled as an animated scroll with watercolor paintings.
However League may attract its players, there’s definitely one thing for certain—the game grabs people’s attention and keeps it. 27 million people can attest to that, at least.
Image via Riot/League of Legends