The longevity of Counter-Strike seems to be paying off for Valve. The fourth iteration of the series, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), was already a well established title in the video gaming community as well as the world of esports. However, thanks to some updates and changes to the games modes, including the implementation of the free-to-play model in 2018, players have been slowly but surely trying the game out, steadily increasing the player count over the course of a year and a half.
Steam Database, which collects and follows numbers and statistics for all Steam games, has revealed that CS:GO’s concurrent player base has now reached approximately 876,575, which is an all time record for the game. The previous record stood at roughly 850,485 in April 2016 during one of the MLG Tournament Finals, a near four year gap between the record breaking numbers.
.@CSGO has beaten it’s all time concurrent players peak, making the new record 876,575 players.
We suspect it might go even higher tomorrow along with Steam itself.https://t.co/ctFAqBuucZ
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) February 8, 2020
As we mentioned earlier, CS:GO underwent some modifications which included the change from being a game that you had to buy, to being a free-to-play one. While this move may have irked some players, especially those who purchased it over the many years since it originally released in 2012, there was an immediate impact as more than 200,000 players joined the game in the same month. As 2019 progressed, those numbers began to increase and another 200,000 players were running and gunning in the Summer of that year.
Some of the other major changes that Valve brought into CS:GO was the popular, and controversial, Battle Royal mode, as well as more custom players models, new knives and new skins. Other more well known Battle Royal games such as, PUBG, Fortnite, and Apex Legends made some serious waves in 2019. Meanwhile CS:GO has been quietly taking in more and more players which has lead to an unprecedented jump that has been made evident with these new statistics.
It’s hard to tell if the concurrent player base will grow or drop from here, but either way you look it it, CS:GO is still one of the most popular competitive multiplayer games on the PC gaming market. Valve has also been trying to make the game more accessible for new and old players. They have recently developed a new system that automatically mutes players who are being reported for abusive speech. With new and advanced improvements such as this, it’s possible that the player base numbers could go up exponentially over time.
CS:GO is available for PC through Steam and is free-to-play.