The janitor pushing updates deserves a golden broomstick.
The stats from 2023 are in, and while Valve claims that CS2 is a labor of love, that love sure earned the company a whole lot of money. A new infographic from CS2 Case Tracker estimates just how many cases were opened across 2023. The stats show that Valve made almost a billion dollars across the year from openings, making it the most profitable year to date. However, that’s only a piece of the puzzle for how much money CS2 made throughout 2023.
On Jan. 21, CS2 Case Tracker released a new infographic estimating how many cases were opened throughout the year. Based on data from FloatDB, the website claims that CS2 players opened around 400 million cases over the year. Based on the keys used to open the boxes, Valve earned around $980 million in the process.
The most popular case of 2023 was the Dreams & Nightmares Case. Users reportedly opened 50,511,222 of them throughout the year, likely driven by the chance of opening Gamma finish Butterfly Knives.
That is a pretty impressive haul for Valve, but $1 billion is an extremely low estimate for how much the company actually earned from upgrading to Source 2.
How much money did Valve make from CS2 in 2023?
In addition to almost $1 billion from case openings, CS2 also earned a ton of money from Valve’s signature Steam Marketplace.
Case openings aren’t the only way Valve makes money from CS2. Valve takes a 17.25% cut of every Steam Market transaction. While third-party skin websites are gaining popularity, the Steam Market is by far the most popular option.
It’s not clear exactly how much money is exchanged on the service every day, but based on the substantial cut, Valve almost definitely made way more than $1 billion off of CS2 in 2023. That makes the tactical shooter one of the biggest games in the world in terms of revenue.
Then the question turns to profit. Valve rarely shares information about how much it costs to produce its games. CS2 is one of the company’s biggest projects to date, so it likely costs a massive amount to produce spread over several years. It’s impossible to confidently give a profit estimate for the title, but if we had to make a guess, the company is still probably several hundred million in the green.
Frustrated fans may find the game's financial success disappointing. However, it's important to remember that Valve has a major profit incentive to continue working on CS2. While the game is still feature-poor compared to CS: GO, seeing hundreds of millions rolling in should only motivate the company. Expect Valve to keep developing the game in 2024 and beyond.