The October 2014 rankings reveal that unlike last month, the top 5 Titles have not remained stable as consumer interest forces them to realign — despite the fact Riot Games’ League of Legends continues to remain at number 1, reaching its seven month doing so. The worlds’ most popular MOBA actually strengthened its leading position taking 20 percent of all unique game sessions of the top 20 games versus 18 percent in September.

Mojang’s Minecraft has fallen one place to Number 3, with Wargaming’s World of Tanks rising to take rank 2. It’s not too unusual to see this shift in Minecraft considering the somewhat recent news of Microsoft’s $2.5 billion acquisition of Mojang and Minecraft. Gamers were unsettled by the news, many playing a waiting game to see what will happen to their beloved indie community now that it falls under ‘Big Blue’s’ umbrella.

eSports Cements LoL’s Lead

No doubt, the build-up towards the League of Legends World Final held on the 19th of October in Seoul, South-Korea, contributed to this. The finals were held in a sold out Sangam Stadium, seating 45,000 eSports fans that witnessed Korean team Samsung White take home the $1 million first place reward. The eSports hype shows no sign of slowing down as League of Legends will also be featured together with StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm at the huge Intel Extreme Masters event on 6 and 7 December in San Jose, California. Organizer ESL has secured the 18,000 seat NHL Sharks‘ home arena. Online video streaming of the event in Silicon Valley is set to attract a significant share of the 12.1 million American eSports Enthusiasts as well as another 15.5 million American consumers that watch eSports occasionally, as reported in Newzoo’s US eSports Country Report.

Expansion News

This same pattern of one rank up, one rank down is repeated as we move down the rankings. Blizzard’s World of Warcraft has moved up 1 place to rank 5, displacing Valve’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive down to Rank 6. The recent news of rising subscriber numbers for Blizzard ahead of the imminent release of their new expansion Warlords of Draenor could mean an even higher session rank next month. EA’s Battlefield 4, with the upcoming release of its fifth expansion pack (Final Stand), re-entered the charts at number 14. In the MMO category, only Trion World’s ArcheAge received another promising boost, rising 1 place to Rank 8. This follows a meteoric rise of 8 places just last month.

Zombies Blues

Bohemia Interactive’s DayZ has enjoyed, until somewhat recently, a steady climb and high position in the overall rankings. By May 2014 it had risen 4 places to Rank 8. August 2014 saw it shoot up again 2 places to reach Rank 6. Then it all began to change in September, where we saw it slide down a dramatic 8 places to Rank 14. The October 2014 rankings reveal it had fallen another 5 places to Rank 19 — drastic results when you compare the two months together. We might see it disappear altogether by November. Another fact to consider is the rise of more ‘Mod’ based open world zombie survival games like Facepunch’s Rust, Phosphor Games Nether and The Fun Pimp’s 7 Days to Die — all of which are giving DayZ strong competition on Steam.Â

Russian Moves

The Russian Top 10 Core PC Games by unique sessions is an interesting contrast to the worldwide Rankings. Number 1 in Russia is Wargaming’s World of Tanks while the world’s Number 1 League of Legends isn’t even an entry in the Russia Top 10. In the top 5 for both we see a few shared titles: Minecraft is Rank 4 in Russia, while it is rank 3 worldwide. While Counter Strike: Global Offensive is rank 3 in Russia and Rank 5 worldwide, in Russia Counter Strike: Condition Zero and Counter-Strike 1.6 are ranks 9 and 10. These last two Counter Strike titles don’t even appear in the Worldwide and NA + EU Rankings.

The strong contradictions between gamer habits in Russia versus the rest of the world that gives rise to these session time discrepancies have been explored in our recent reports on the Russian Gaming Market in greater detail.

League of Legends World Finals 2014 in Seoul

About Overwolf

Overwolf is a customizable in-game overlay platform that has been installed in over 8 million PCs. This community of hardcore PC gamers are consistently making their own apps within the Overwolf platform and sharing them. Why Because it’s super simple and it enhances the gameplay experience of anyone’s favorite title in a personal way. From in-game chat systems to customized controls, streaming or video capture, Overwolf allows users to implement their own visions into these games and do so in a timely manner.

About Newzoo

Newzoo is the leading global market research firm focused purely on the games market. The company provides its clients with a mix of primary consumer research, transactional data and financial analysis across all continents, screens and business models. It is also known for actively sharing a variety of insights by means of free trend reports, infographics, blogposts and monthly rankings. Newzoo’s clients include Tencent, SEGA, Logitech, Wizards of the Coast, Nvidia, Microsoft, EA, Coca-Cola and Visa/PlaySpan.