Blog: How much money Valve is making from CS:GO

It's no secret that Valve gets good money out of CS:GO's micro transactions. In this blog I'm gonna count the average amount of money that Valve makes out of CS:GO




The game itself

Based off to an information from Steamspy there's 21,352,159 copies sold.

(Source: http://steamspy.com/app/730 )

[INDENT]If we multiply the amount of copies sold with CS:GO's price we get the result of $ 320,068,863. [/INDENT]

Now this result is not correct because Steam's summer sales do affect to this, last sale 792,742 copies were sold. There were 13,502,315 owners at that time and after the sale there was 14,295,057 so we assume that 5.87% of copies sold were from sales overall. With simple math we can count that it makes 1,253,371 copies.

[INDENT]1,253,371 * 7,5($) = 9,400,288
320,068,863 - 9,400,288 = 310,668,575 $[/INDENT]

That's the final result which might have small error percentage.

(Source: http://steamspy.com/sale/ )

Taxes and steam transaction fee

Valve's headquarter is located in Washington, United States United States When counting the taxes we have to take in note that CS:GO is digital product thus normal sales taxes don't apply. Washington State Legislature says the following "Based on the buyer’s records, the buyer may apportion the use tax in proportion to the in-state to out-of-state users." The amount of people working in Valve is a mystery and not a public data so I won't include taxes to this so all this will be gross.

Steam has a fee called "Steam Transaction Fee" and it only applies to items sold in steam community market. The Fee is currently set at 10% for CS:GO. Based off to csgobackpack numbers total value of items is 211,713,935 $ and if people were to sell them at least once Valve would get 21,171,395 $. This calculation might have a big error percentage since we can't get the exact numbers of ALL the items sold so I'm gonna take example here so you get the idea how much Valve makes daily without actually doing anything.

(Source: http://csgobackpack.net/index.php )



My example here is field-tested AK-47 Redline, as seen above. That item was sold 2028 times in 24 hours and the average price was 5.7 $. If we take the 10% out of the 5.7 $ and multiply it with 2028 we get 1155.96 $.

Cases and stickers

There is no public data available how many cases there was opened so we can't really go in to those details but Valve said this in their recent blog post "We have shipped over 90 weapon finishes made by the CS:GO community with each finish earning over $40,000 on average" If we multiply the numbers we get that Valve has made 3,600,000 $ from their recent CS:GO skins.

Valve also revealed that they made 9 million dollars in 2015 from team and player stickers.

Sources:

http://blog.counter-strike.net/index.php/2016/05/14204/
http://blog.counter-strike.net/index.php/2015/11/13096/

If we count all these numbers together we get 355,539,970$

Things to consider which would affect the end result

-Taxes
-Operations
-Keys

So take in note that the amount that Valve makes out of CS:GO is most likely much higher than the number we got here

Thanks for reading!
xD
2016-05-08 17:40
#2
 | 
Canada SquishyMuffinz 
a lot
2016-05-08 17:41
yup
2016-05-08 17:44
#98
f0rest | 
Serbia < nkl > 
and no money for 128 tick... sure gaben
2016-05-10 16:43
Man MM is for pubmaster players and they are not 128 tickrate because most of the players are having 60fps 60hz monitors.
2017-08-20 06:21
Good job, in my eyes very wise explanation.
2016-05-08 17:42
Thanks
2016-05-08 18:00
#6
Latvia skuut 
Good read +1
2016-05-08 18:04
Thanks for reading :]
2016-05-08 19:07
Thanks
2016-05-08 18:20
np
2016-05-08 18:43
9 millions from cases and stickers!?? 21M copy sold each bought one key result is 52M ,lets say 10 millions will buy one key each year that's another 25M each year ,I'm happy to see some of the profit is actually returning to the game itself to make it 90% satisfying for everyone
2016-05-08 18:20
I didn't want to assume that all the people have bought keys because that's not true. Also the 9 million was from team stickers etc. :]
2016-05-08 18:36
like everyone said great read and interesting topic, not everyone bought keys but the assumption makes sense since at least 70% have bought at least more than one key
2016-05-08 18:41
While that's true the numbers wouldn't be true at all because there's people who spend fortunes to cases. For example Tweeday he has made multiple +1000 case unboxings so it's really hard to predict the true amount if Valve doesn't give us any numbers, also thanks for reading!
2016-05-08 18:46
Great read, even though the number must be a lot higher since valve takes 2/3 of operation passes and keys sold so every finish earned them ~80,000 and keep in mind that there are valve only cases where they keep the full revenue. Also we don't have any information on music kits, stickers, etc sold through the main menu. I believe that there is a possibility of counting operation passes, coins on csgo exchange taking that number you could get a more exact number
2016-05-08 18:24
Yeah the numbers are definitely higher and I do know that there isn't public data available about the keys sold etc.
2016-05-08 18:37
+1 Helvetti nice blogs man
2016-05-08 18:29
Thanks for reading :)
2016-05-08 18:51
n1
2016-05-08 18:34
thx
2016-05-08 19:48
valve is making too much barkie50
2016-05-08 18:37
Wow, very nice blog: "I actually have no idea, but I am gonna make something up anyway" Good job!
2016-05-08 18:37
Thanks for reading :]
2016-05-08 18:50
No, problem man. It's an interesting topic, but would be better if we actually had data. Especially the key-part is critical.
2016-05-08 18:55
Yeah it would indeed be better if we would have the data but you know Valve. Always so secretive :[
2016-05-08 18:55
So they're freaking rich and we're struggling to get that $10 skin xD
2016-05-08 18:57
Pretty much
2016-05-08 18:58
#FeelsBadMan
2016-05-08 18:59
ohhh lord gaben...
2016-05-08 18:58
Gaben literally gets thousands of dollars trough steam transaction fees maybe even million dollars by doing nothing
2016-05-08 19:02
#67
Sweden qgh 
They still have to manage servers
2016-05-09 11:47
True but they also have other incomes they can use to manage servers though
2016-05-09 11:49
how about an article on how much semi pro players earn from innercircle.cz matchfixing?
2016-05-08 20:15
It's hard to do article about something that I don't have much information nor do I know the amounts what people get from matchfixes if there isn't information published by csgolounge etc.
2016-05-08 20:24
#31
 | 
Denmark 3picanteater 
Holy shit, good job bro!
2016-05-08 20:18
Thanks a lot! :)
2016-05-08 20:19
your blog is sooooooooooo much better than that rtd oliversguan's
2016-05-08 20:21
Article about numbers. Finally, I love it. Good read as always.
2016-05-08 20:33
Thanks a lot Mr. Jobs! I always appreciate your feedback :]
2016-05-08 20:35
Still less than world of warcraft despite WoW being on an all time low, not to mention LoL....
2016-05-08 20:38
That is not the final number, If we would add operations, full number of steam transaction fee and keys the final number it's possible that it would be up to 2x higher due to popular culture of case openings etc. Also League of Legends has pretty much monetized everything bonus content and maybe even the main content because you can literally buy champions with RP and now with the Hextec openings the numbers will only go higher
2016-05-08 20:47
#38
 | 
United Kingdom Bo2s 
And still no 128tick servers , nice blog anyway
2016-05-08 20:41
I believe that Valve doesn't want to implement 128 tick to matchmaking for several reason. The most important one is that Faceit, cevo & ESEA (ESL owns ESEA) would suffer highly from that. Why would anybody play faceit, esea or cevo if you could literally just go and play it on matchmaking. Valve most likely wants to keep those services alive because after all Valve and ESL for example have partnered many times and now that ESL own ESEA, ESL has their card to this. The second reason I could think of is that Valve actually doesn't want to give advantage to people with better computers and those who get good performance in CS:GO which would be kind of stupid :p edit: Also thanks for reading :]
2016-05-08 20:51
I have spent a lot of money on keys, never even unboxed a red ;) Never again will i buy a key, gg valve
2016-05-08 20:49
Yeah it's really unlikely that you would get anything good so there is no point in opening cases. Some random reddit user made this chance calculation about over 2000+ cases Total Cases: 2023 BLUE: 1594 (78.79%) Purple: 343 (16.96%) Pink: 57 (2.82%) Red: 20 (0.99%) Knife: 9 (0.44%)
2016-05-08 21:01
My idiot friend unboxed 2 knifes... Martin 0...
2016-05-08 21:40
I like your blogs! Please keep it up!
2016-05-08 21:39
Thanks for the feedback <3
2016-05-08 21:40
next do a blog about how much money hltv makes by helping the average hltv kid develop a betting addiction, maintaining a site with the most amateur design out of all esports news sites out there and doing a "great" job monitoring their forums. i would really like to know ;)
2016-05-09 03:38
HLTV is ran by ads and even if they seem annoying they're the ones who keep this running. I believe HLTV is ran by page revenue per mille (thousand) and if we were to say that HLTV has 0,5 $ page RPM we could multiply it with 4 million because that's how much people there is on a monthly basis. On the frontpage there's four different types of ads and we could multiply the four ads with RPM and then we would multiply the result of this with 4 million and we would end up in result that HLTV makes 8,000,000 $. Now I highly doubt that this is the case because RPM is really inconsistent and there is a high chance that ads don't go with RPM. I believe HLTV has just made a deal with the betting websites and the betting sites just pay certain amount of money. HLTV still has people working tho so that money splits up to workers, I hope this opened up a bit concept of ads to you
2016-05-09 05:14
5 minutes of googling and i found numbers that vary between 100k monthly visits to 20m monthly visits which is quite bizarre. the revenue varies as well and is nowhere near 8m. let's assume it's "only" somewhere between 200-300k. throw in an estimate of how many workers hltv has and how much they are getting paid. it is reasonable to assume they don't get high tech salaries either. i'm quite confident the rest of the money would suffice to sustain a high quality of life without having to work at another job.
2016-05-09 17:30
I myself have 1€ RPM atm and I might have miscalculated and explained some things wrong at the previous comment x)
2016-05-09 17:32
#46
 | 
Turkey CHAMPTZ 
Brain.exe just stopped working. N1 m8.
2016-05-08 21:49
Woah, n1
2016-05-08 21:51
gaben to rule the world
2016-05-08 21:53
They could use this money to develope a fucking steam mobile guard for windows phone.
2016-05-08 21:57
Yeah I struggled with that also when I had to use Windows phone but now I got different phone. The reasons how I see why Valve doesn't develop a Windows phone app is that the development for Windows phone is just way too different and you have to go with Metro UI and you might not get an app which looks like you want it to look. The second thing is that they just don't think it's worth to use their resources and money to develop it to Windows phones because their future is debatable, which is stupid in my opinion. They should just make it
2016-05-08 22:09
They did make it finally :D
2016-08-18 13:43
#53
s1mple | 
Germany synigeN 
You've gotten quite quiet with your blogging Helvetti only 1/10.
2016-05-08 22:28
#54
India nijX 
Very nice read.. nice blog
2016-05-09 02:35
2016-05-09 03:13
ahah
2016-05-09 20:19
#57
apEX | 
Brazil nove 
helvetti love your blogs did you take a break lool
2016-05-09 04:27
Yeah I took a little break because
2016-05-09 04:50
Still not enough to cure these autistic favelas on hltv
2016-05-09 05:17
#61
 | 
India RrOuTe_FoRcE 
Cool work bud.. Keep it up.
2016-05-09 07:18
#62
AZR | 
Oceania cwns 
Well I guess keys would possibly MULTIPLY that number, because 1 key = 1 case skin so each case skin that exists = another $2.5
2016-05-09 07:21
the money per case is the tax for skin makers not volvo
2016-05-09 07:35
I would say, that they made mich more! I guess about 1billion
2016-05-09 09:55
men manyy i tink
2016-05-09 10:41
The way I understand the "We have shipped over 90 weapon finishes made by the CS:GO community with each finish earning over $40,000 on average" part is that on average, the creator of each skin has gotten 40k on average. So, Valve have paid the community 3,6M to community contributors and have themselves earned a LOT more than that. The first figure 310M is probably way too much because a lot of sites sell csgo keys with 7€ price, and those sites still make profit off of them so I'd go with something closer to 200M
2016-05-09 11:45
All those CS:GO keys that other sites sell were bought from steam during sales so it won't affect the final result
2016-05-09 14:37
I meant games obviously not 7€ keys lol :P
2016-05-09 15:56
I meant the game as well
2016-05-09 20:19
too bad SteamSpy is just complete bullshit guesswork. Valve never really publishes their actual sales and owned copy totals etc, so it's all just them guessing off a small subset of public profiles and guessing by increased quantity. so cool blog other than the fact that you had to use steamspy :))
2016-05-09 11:50
licenses are sold in bulk to 3rd party sites at a discount, outside the discounts in steam. not a lot of ppl pay full price for the game.
2016-05-09 12:32
dude you've gotta stop with all the troll maths, its embarrassing
2016-05-09 15:00
#74
suNny | 
Finland iPaZ 
Good blog but csgo is in sale sometimes too and many people buy usually then :)
2016-05-09 16:01
I did take that in count there
2016-05-09 16:11
#77
suNny | 
Finland iPaZ 
oh did you
2016-05-09 16:26
#76
EAZY | 
Czech Republic k9fEinW0W 
+ major stickers good read
2016-05-09 16:22
Thank you for taking the time to write this. Great insight! :)
2016-05-09 17:33
Thanks for reading :]
2016-05-09 20:22
Great work. It is very difficult to determine the actual earnings. Here are my insights that might differ from yours: People usually buy CSGO from G2A or trade it for 3 keys from traders even when the sale is over. I think the number of summer/winter sale copies activated is much much more than 5.87% as pointed by you. Correct me if I am wrong but csgobackpack only keep a inventory record for players that have logged in onto their site and calculated their inventory at some point of time. There are still a large number of people who have never heard about csgobackpack or use alternative websites like csgo.exchange etc. So the total inventory value might be a lot greater than the one shown on csgobackpack. When Valve published this statement: "We have shipped over 90 weapon finishes made by the CS:GO community with each finish earning over $40,000 on average" they were trying to encourage artists to create skins for CSGO. In that context, I thought Valve paid out $40,000 to each artist whose skin was introduced into the game(I might be wrong). In that case, Valve might be earning much more than $40,000 per skin from cases.
2016-05-09 18:10
just checked that my comment is similar to #66
2016-05-09 18:11
This blog is entirely made from the numbers available, Valve is very secretive and the first point you made is that people them from G2a etc. That is true but they are originally from Steam and in the last sale there was 700k CS:GO's sold so I think most of them went to G2A and Kinguin. The second point is almost correct but it can show the profiles which have been checked, which doesn't require logging in to the site. It is true that private profiles don't show up in the calculations and thus the results won't be 100% correct ever. The third point is the tricky one because Valve has definitely made more but we know that they have made AT LEAST that amount of money from the 90 skins. Thanks for reading my blog and commenting! :]
2016-05-09 20:18
don't forget that skinmakers get their cut from the profits. also you didn't mention operations.
2016-05-09 23:01
I did mention in the end that operations could affect the prize. There just isn't any place where we can see how many times operations were sold
2016-05-10 05:09
You tell us how many they earn from csgo but that would be interesting to know how many it costs to do and to keep CSGO running. About skins sold, skin makers get money from them and also I don't think using the help of csgobackpack is correct since there are many high tier items that can't be listed on the steam market. Even if they represent a tiny % of the skins, they do represent a decent % of the skin value overall
2016-05-09 23:07
it is fact, csgo is real bussiness?
2016-05-10 02:21
ofcourse but only for valve :P
2016-05-10 05:05
i dont think so, it is for everyone. skin boys account boosters valve steam
2016-05-10 16:18
Nice blog bro
2016-05-10 06:03
waow, thanks dude
2016-05-10 16:36
You could go through every skin on the market and check the average price and how many were sold in the last 24h. It's about 450 skins, so it will take a while, but far from impossible. You could also try to work out how much money people who play CS put into their steam wallets. Because whatever goes in, does not come out - so eventually all that money is profit for Valve. Ubisoft once said that about 95% of all players of free-to-play games do not spend money on micro-transactions, while 5% spend on average $5 a week. I think that percentage and average spending is much higher for CS, but lets assume that's true and do a quick calculation: 5% of 21,352,159 is 1,067,608 people. If they spend $5 a week, it adds up to $5 million a week in pure profit. => $277 million a year. I would think that the spenders probably equal more like 10% than 5%, though. And the average expenditure per week is closer to $8 or $10. Which means their yearly profit is probably somwhere between $277M - $1100M (that's more than 1 billion.)
2016-05-10 16:38
21m from skins looool, has to be at least 1b+ altogether
2016-05-11 10:55
Good one, I think they make more than 1Billion per year (just on skins), so, yeah...a lot of money. But they are doing things right, they created more servers, and they are giving more money to the pros, game always getting updates, we can even dream about a better tick rate one day.
2016-08-05 00:14
how much in 2k17
2017-08-20 06:16
#104
 | 
Canada Rax_7 
lmao this game is so trash for the amount of money they have and the amount of resources they have @ their disposal
2017-09-25 04:32
Valve makes suck much money and can’t fix the game with normal shot and give the players what they want... why da fuck do we play dis shit when they don’t care about people like KennyS who dedicate over 10 years of their life to a game and master the weapon like no one else then valve suddenly think it’s overpowered because one man can use it so welll... That’s Valve Logic Fuck u fix the game and stop hooking up with Russian whores!!! And learn what the ducking players want....
2017-12-30 03:47
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