Valve Made A Billion Dollars On Counter-Strike Cases In 2023


An image of Counter-Strike soldiers behind falling dollar bills.

Image: Valve / Kotaku / Jag_cz (Shutterstock)

According to new data, it appears that Valve likely made about $1 billion from digital Counter-Strike 2 (previously Global Offensive) cases and keys in 2023. Yes, that’s billion with a “B.”

In Valve’s immensely popular free-to-play tactical FPS Counter-Strike 2, players can get cases by playing and earning them through level drops, or purchase cases from Steam’s community market. These cases come in different variants and can contain extremely rare and valuable cosmetic items like weapon skins. But once you have a case, you don’t just open it. You also need a key, which must be purchased either directly from Steam or from other players on the community market. And because CS2 is very popular, this lootbox system is making Valve a lot of money.

As spotted by Dexerto, third-party website CS2 Case Tracker recently released its 2023 year in review for cases. And the biggest stat is the estimated $980,000,000 that Valve earned from players buying keys to open cases. Because keys are just digital items that unlock cases, it’s not like it costs Valve all that much to make them or maintain them so the company likely absorbed almost all of that staggering figure as profit.

A screenshot shows some of the data from CS2 Case Tracker.

But wait, that massive $980 million stat is only how much money Valve likely made from the sale of keys. It doesn’t factor in the 15% cut they get from every case sold on the community market. When you factor that in, it becomes very likely that Valve made well over $1 billion on cases and keys in 2023 alone.

That probably is one of the reasons Valve isn’t in a rush to make new video games. They don’t really need to. Instead, they can sit back and let Steam and Counter-Strike fund all their virtual reality experiments and other hardware projects. Honestly, it’s a miracle we ever got Half-Life: Alyx.

One last stat for the road: According to CS2 Case Tracker’s data the most popular day to open cases was Wednesday. Why? I don’t know. But there you go. You can now likely win a bar bet with this weird bit of trivia.

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By asm3a