Valve reportedly made nearly $1 billion in revenue in 2023 from cases and keys in Counter-Strike 2 and CSGO skins, and the gravy train doesn’t seem to be slowing down.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was a wildly successful tactical shooter but it’s arguably known more for its skins than its tight gunplay or its massive esports scene. Valve took unique steps when it came to rolling out Counter-Strike 2 and a big part of that was likely tied to how large the skin trading scene is within the game. A website dedicated to tracking skin trading trends has given an idea of how large it actually is.
Valve wants to keep that passive income coming in, and isn’t necessarily as concerned as bringing back all the features that are missing in Counter-Strike 2. It’s easy to get why, though, as CSGO Case Tracker has given a recap of all the money that flowed through its shop through cases and keys. Even for those who are entrenched in the game, the estimates are staggering.
How much money does Valve make from cases in Counter-Strike?
Players spent over $980 million on cases and keys in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Counter-Strike 2 in 2023, according to estimates. Those numbers come from CSGO Case Tracker, which also estimates that over 400 million cases were unboxed in 2023 alone.
Counter-Strike 2’s case and key economy is a pillar of the game, whether fans like it or not. Hundreds of thousands of transactions in the CS2 space are tied to these lootboxes. Alongside the direct sales, Valve also earns a commission from every Steam Community Marketplace transaction that takes place.
On April 25, 2023, the game saw a massive spike in unboxings yet with 6.6 million cases. This coincided with the release of the Anubis Collection. With the entire economy being passive on Valve’s part, CS2 cases are a reliable cash cow for funding any projects it may have in the future.
What was the most popular case for Counter-Strike 2?
The Dreams and Nightmares Case is the most popular in the currently active drop pool.
This particular case was opened over 50 million times, accounting for 12.5% of all case openings in 2023, per CSGO Case Tracker. This case earned Valve over $126 million in key sales, despite being released in January 2022.
This coincides with an overall increase in case prices. On average, cases received a spike of 178% in 2023. The Danger Zone case increased the most with a 492% increase in value. The CSGO Weapon Case increased by $25, making it the largest growth numbers-wise.
Overall, these numbers showcase that Valve is comfortable with CS2’s current state. Several fans criticize the game’s stagnancy but Valve has no financial incentive to resolve them. Perhaps if these issues start encroaching on the case economy, Valve will make more substantial moves.