For nearly four years, Riot Games’ immensely popular title, League of Legends, has been the most played game in internet cafes across South Korea. That has now changed. This past May, a small game called Overwatch (you have never heard of it, I’m sure) was released by Blizzard Entertainment for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One, and it is safe to say the craze dominated our popular culture. From unique cosplays to engaging FanFiction, to stellar artwork, players cannot get enough of their favorite Overwatch heroes, and the passion for the game is evident across social media. And as it turns out, that same enthusiasm for Overwatch is also having a major impact overseas. The popularity of the game, namely its addicting cooperative gameplay and eccentric collection of heroes has knocked League of Legends from the top spot of the most-played game in cafes across South Korea.
While this de-throning is apparently news-worthy, it is not that unexpected when you stop and think about it. Since its launch in May, Overwatch has acquired over ten million players (and counting!) worldwide, and it has garnered over seven million dollars in sales, making it one of the most successful international game launches of all time.
League of Legends is obviously nothing to snooze at either. The game first launched in 2009, and according to the statistics over at Riot Games, League of Legends boasts “sixty-seven million players every month; twenty-seven million every day; and over 7.5 million playing at the same time during each day’s peak play time”. There is also no sign that this will be slowing down anytime soon, either.
The margin by which Overwatch is beating League of Legends in South Korea is small, yet it is still solid. According to Gametrics, a Korean website that keeps track of what people are playing across thousands of internet cafes, Overwatch is in the lead, standing at a little over thirty percent, while League of Legends rests at twenty-seven percent. How long these two games will be neck-and-neck is uncertain. Only the players will tell.
You can view The Nerd Stash’s review of Overwatch here!