Valve, a game studio that has successfully transformed itself into a game publisher and distributor behemoth, may be generating an astronomical amount of $54 million each month just from the sale of Counter-Strike:Global Offensive (CSGO) case keys, according to the intricate calculations of the astute skin trader and renowned YouTuber, Anomaly.
It is a widely known fact that CSGO cases constitute Valve’s primary source of revenue, as the company was a pioneering force behind the concept of in-game cosmetic microtransactions. Curious to determine the exact amount of revenue that Valve is raking in through the sale of these cases, Anomaly undertook a meticulous exercise in financial extrapolation.
Anomaly started with the calculations made by Fjedjik, a user of the CSGO Market Forum subreddit, who had estimated that from May 1, 2021, to June 1, 2021, a grand total of 25.9 million cases had been unboxed, based on data obtained from the CSGO float, a skin website.
When one factors in the cost of the keys needed to unlock these cases, which are priced at $2.50 apiece, Valve would have netted a jaw-dropping $65.75 million in revenue for that month alone.
Anomaly then took Fjedjik’s estimations one step further by broadening the scope of the calculations to cover the period spanning from May 2021 to January 2023, which revealed that a whopping 458 million cases had been opened during this timeframe. This amounts to a staggering average of 714,509 cases per day.
Based on these figures, Valve could potentially be generating an awe-inspiring sum of $1,786,271.45 each day, which equates to an average of $54,355,263.16 per month and an astonishing $651,989,078.25 per year.
Anomaly raised the pertinent question of why this colossal amount of revenue was not being utilized to fund prize pools for Majors, as is the case with Dota 2’s International. It is worth noting that the prize pool for both Majors combined last year amounted to a paltry $2.25 million, which is only 0.34% of the total amount Valve earned solely from CSGO case keys.
Valve had previously released cases that were specifically designed to fund CSGO prize pools, known as esports Cases, but the last of these cases were made available in 2014. Since then, team stickers have been introduced as a way to support the players participating in the yearly Majors, but the proceeds generated from these stickers are not channeled towards the prize pool; instead, only a percentage goes to the teams and players.
It is important to keep in mind that the aforementioned calculations only take into account the revenue generated from the sale of keys used to unlock the cases and do not include other factors such as community market transaction fees, weapon name tags, and Prime Account sales. When these additional factors are taken into consideration, it becomes increasingly apparent that Valve’s profits from CSGO are even more substantial than what was previously estimated.
Anomaly’s intricate calculations paint a picture of Valve potentially making an exorbitant amount of money solely from the sale of CSGO case keys. It remains to be seen whether Valve will choose to invest this colossal amount of revenue into funding prize pools for Majors or utilize it for other purposes within the game.