According to skin trader and YouTuber Anomaly, who appears to have done the numbers, Valve might earn $54 million on average monthly selling CSGO cases keys.
In-game cosmetic microtransactions in Valve’s well-known game, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, supposedly generate an astounding revenue. Anomaly, a skin trader and YouTuber, claims that Valve might earn an average of $54 million per month solely from CS GO case keys.
Anomaly analyzed the number of cases initiated each month and the potential revenue for Valve. He based his calculations on information provided by Fjedjik, a CSGO Market Forum subreddit member, who predicted that 25.9 million cases were unboxed between May 1 and June 1, 2021. By extending the computations to January 2023, Anomaly discovered that from May 2021 to January 2023, a sum of 458 million cases was opened, or around 714,509 cases each day.
In May 2021 alone, Valve would have earned $65.75 million if we estimated the cost of the keys needed to open the cases at $2.50 each. Based on CSGO case keys, Anomaly’s calculations show that Valve may be making $1,786,271.45 per day, $54,355,263.16 on average monthly, and $651,989,078.25 a year.
Why Valve does not use this money to fund Major prize pools, as it does for Dota 2’s International, was a question raised by Anomaly. Unlike CSGO, Dota 2 has not implemented a community-funded prize pool through cosmetic sales. About 0.34% of Valve’s money from CSGO case keys alone was awarded in prize money at last year’s total prize pool for the two CSGO Majors, which was only $2.25 million.
Anomaly also mentioned that Valve had previously made cases known as “eSports Cases” that were made particularly to fund CSGO prize pools. Team stickers have taken their place to show support for athletes who compete in the annual Majors since the last one, which occurred in 2014. Nevertheless, some of it goes to the teams and players, not the prize fund.
It’s important to note that these numbers only account for the keys used to open the cases; they do not consider the costs associated with community market transactions, weapon name tags, sales of Prime Accounts, or revenue from Dota 2 and Steam. But it’s undeniable that CSGO cases are Valve’s cash cow, and the sum of money they’re making is astounding.