Previously, Skyrim had 287 thousand concurrent players, immediately after its release in November of 2011. As the graph shows, this was a temporary peak which went down as more and more players finished the game. However, Dota 2 is a constantly developing multiplayer experience with very organic replay value, so a slower, more progressive escalation seems like healthy behavior for its playerbase.
And it is gathering some serious pace. During the second annual ‘The International‘ championship in the summer of 2012, Dota 2 exceeded 100 thousand concurrent players, but by the last week of December during the ‘Greeviling’ update event, this number had doubled (it had previously seen a significant peak during the Halloween ‘Diretide‘ event just a few months earlier).
Keep in mind that Dota 2 is still in a semi-closed beta, and access remains restricted. However, in recent time, Valve has been distributing massive amounts of Dota 2 beta invites – and while there’s a lot of them in the wild, it’s a far cry from the truly open free-to-play release that Dota 2 will be when it is fully launched.
Also, today Dota 2 reached 500,000 copies on Steam Community Market!
However, Valve are not trolling players by distributing these Dota 2 invitations. Some time ago Gabe Newell said that they are only giving away the exact amount of Dota 2 copies to ensure a stable network. And I’m pretty sure that you guys understand the problems Valve face – if on top of the current active playerbase, half a million new players were to join to the current Dota 2 network at the same time, they could very well explode!
And what is to say they haven’t? On a related but unfortunate note, just a few hours ago, the beta suffered a massive server outage which left the game temporarily unplayable for quite some time. This is not the first time it’s happened, and it is hard to say if it will be the last!