Will CSGO skins ever lose their value?
Will CS:GO ever die?
Many years ago, when LootBear was just a cub being taught to fish by his mother; The first installment of the soon-to-be world renowned game series ‘Counter-Strike’ was released (way back in 1999!).
From it’s early days as a simple mod to the already popular game Half-Life, Counter-Strike was a hit. People loved it and it was soon developed into its very own stand-alone game.
But we aren’t here for a history lesson. We are here to understand how and why the game has remained so popular after 21 long years. Of course, the game that we play now looks and plays a bit differently to its 21 year old predecessor but the essence of the game is very much the same – Terrorists try to plant the bomb and Counter-Terrorists try to defuse the bomb.
The gaming industry is a very fast paced environment, new games are being released almost every day and many great games simply burn up and fade into nothingness very quickly. So what has kept this 21 year old dinosaur of a concept alive for so long? How many more years are we going to rush B? How many more cases are we going to open?
We believe that the game has lasted so long, and will continue to last because of 3 very simple but very powerful things:
- It’s simple, yet infinitely deep – It’s a very simple game to understand at a basic level, much like Football. It’s not hard to grasp the basic concept, no difficult techniques need to be learned in order to play a ‘Proper’ game of CS:GO. But the skill ceiling is incredibly high. It’s in the seemingly small things that the depth of this game really becomes apparent. Learning insane smokes to cover your team, learning the angles to hold that give you the largest chance to win, perfecting your aim to pop heads like ScreaM and the execution of complex team strategies to win the game. It is this depth coupled with its core simplicity that makes CS:GO so fun to play and why a seemingly stale game (same maps, same guns over and over for years) has withstood the test of time and will continue to do so.
- The professional scene – In the previous point, I compared the game’s simplicity to football and it follows suit here too. Counter Strike is quite simply just a fantastic, exciting game to watch at a pro level. The opportunity for any player to go huge and make a game winning play is thrilling. Many other games don’t allow for this. The entertainment value from the game and the number of eyes each major tournament attracts means that the game will also continue to attract money from sponsors. As long as the professional scene remains popular and exciting, more and more money will be pumped into the industry which in turn helps to keep it alive.
- The skins industry – No game before it had ever seen the level of success CS:GO did with its in-game microtransactions. Valve’s addition of a simple case unboxing system has spawned a monster of an industry estimated to be worth over $1billion USD a few years ago. It’s value now is much higher. With skins comes collectors and the dopamine rush from unboxing something awesome (or the debt from unboxing continuous trash, Gaben why have you forsaken me?). These collectors coupled with the average kid that just wants to flex to his friends with a cool knife sparked the beginning of a snowball that would lead us to a moment where it is possible to build an entire business around these virtual items. People are truly passionate about skins and it is this passion that paved the way for platforms like us to be created. As long as this passion for skins exists, the game will not only survive, but it will thrive.
So what’s next?
In 2 months, CS:GO will have been released for 8 years. Not many games go on to have a life span of 8 years. Look at Call Of Duty for example – They have to repackage, rebrand and re-release the same game every year in order to stay relevant (stop making kids buy the same game for $50 every year, Activision!). But how does the future look for our beloved game?
This is a graph showing the evolution of the player base over the years since CS:GO’s birth in 2012. Over the past few years I have heard people around me say ‘CSGO is dead!’ or ‘It’s dying’ and until I saw this graph – I could have believed it!
It’s easy to mistake a personal loss of interest in a game as an actual issue. But for every player who has burned out from playing dust_2 six thousand times, a few other new players are experiencing getting wall-banged for the first time.
The game is STILL growing, not only that but it’s growing FAST. Competitors come and go (cough, Valorant, cough) but CS:GO always remained. Propped up on its pedestal balancing on the 3 core pillars of simplicity, watchability and skins; CS:GO will continue to be a legendary game for years to come.