Not eSports: The Games With The Biggest Player Base
eSports have seen incredible growth in the last couple of years. More people play CounterStrike, League of Legends, Overwatch, Fortnite or the other entries on the list of the top 10 eSports today than ever before. These games are massive and have player bases that others can only dream of. But they can only stand in awe in front of the games with the absolute biggest player bases in history (and none of them are eSports – yet).
It’s easy to be at the top when your game is bundled with pretty much every Microsoft Windows system, even the pirated ones. Still, the game wouldn’t’ve become so popular if it wasn’t at least in part, you know, good.
The game, released in 1990, had a player base of around 400 million in 2015, according to Wikipedia.
Candy Crush Saga
Candy Crush is a simple match-three puzzle game inspired by Popcap Games’ popular “Bejeweled” (now owned by Electronic Arts) that was released on Facebook in 2012 by King.com, now owned by Activision-Blizzard. Later, the game was released on Windows and all major mobile platforms – and this pushed it into the top list of the most successful titles ever created.
Two years after its release, the game had more than 90 million players, and in five years, it was downloaded by more than 2.7 billion users. At its peak, it had around 500 million active players, putting it way above titles like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite.
Sometimes, great games come from where you least expect them – like a Google Doodle, for example. This was the case of “Pac-Man Doodle”, available over the weekend of 21-23 May 2010, the 30th anniversary of the release of the classic arcade title Pac-Man. During this three-day period, the Google Doodle version of Pac-Man was played by over 1 billion people around the world, reaching a peak of 505 million players in one day.
Dungeon Fighter Online
Released in August 2005, Dungeon Fighter Online aka DFO took South Korea by storm. In the following years, it was released in Japan, China, and Taiwan, it made it to North America in 2010, and was released globally in 2016. The multiplayer PC beat ’em up video game developed and published by Neople fought itself into the top: as of last year, the game had 600 million users and lifetime revenues of $10 billion.
The game with the biggest player base in history is none other than CrossFire, a free-to-play tactical FPS developed by Smilegate Entertainment. Just like the one above, CrossFire was released in Korea first, back in 2007. This was followed by subsequent released all over the world, including China (2008), North America (2009) and Europe (2011). Its popularity in Asia turned it into the most played video game in the world – it has 660 million users – and one of the highest-grossing games ever, with lifetime revenues of $10.8 billion by the end of last year.
The game is getting a remake – CrossFire HD – and a sequel – CrossFire 2 – in the coming years, both of them with a single-player portion built by Remedy. At this year’s E3, the developer also announced an Xbox version for the game, CrossFire X.