CS:GO player numbers

SphynxSphynx Senior
edited March 2015 in General Discussion
As the title indicates, this topic is in some way related to another one – 'Player numbers'. I have spent some time on collecting interesting bits of information about 'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' that might or might not be connected to the development of its player base. I ended up with a chart that depicts the changes in player numbers over time and is accompanied by events for updates and sales.

It is clear that there are other factors involved as well. The total number of Steam users, different marketing aspects and other things are also counting in. I still think it is a pretty interesting result.

You can find the chart here. (*.svg vector graphic; most desktop browsers should be able to open it; resizing might work with a combination of 'crtl' and '+' or '-')

The corresponding source file with all the data and sources can be downloaded here. (*.ods; OpenDocument Spreadsheet)


  • PaladinPaladin Senior
    edited March 2015
    Not sure what the purpose of this thread is? or how you want one to respond to it (trying to make PVKII as popular as CS:GO will not happen) but anyway, as you may already know CS:GO is the 2nd most played game on steam but Dota 2 is the most played game on steam every day since the beta was released (Even before that I think it was 3rd/4th on list)

    Currently Dota 2 has twice as many players as CS:GO http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ which I currently play on a regular basis mainly for the ranked matches - I play on another account with 5K MMR and was looking for other players on this forum but I am very surprised that only myself plays Dota 2 on this forum. Others only play it once in a while with normal matching, well not really actually. Because of my rank, I had the chance to play with a professional player Wagamama which was fairly exciting considering about 20,000 viewers where watching us play http://wiki.teamliqu.../dota2/Wagamama

    Reason for Dota 2 being most popular? - According to one of my steam friends who plays CS:GO a lot competitively, he tells me because Dota 2 is a free game and CS:GO is not but the main reasons that I play Dota 2 each day is because you have over 100 heroes to choose so (PVKII has 9 classes) the updates are much more interesting like the year brawl event, wraith king event etc and the items you can buy as well as the competitive gaming scene with it's biggest competition each year (The International) which is broadcast on American Television each year, and huge prize money, First international winners (Navi) won 1 million and last year's winners (dinahee) took home 5 million. (1 million for each player) There was even a film released on the first international "Free to Play" which you can download on steam or just watch on YouTube as well as many twitch streams like Sheever http://www.twitch.tv/sheevergaming or guides that Purge posts of each hero on youtube.

    So yeah...
  • SphynxSphynx Senior
    edited March 2015
    I agree that many other games would have been interesting to analyze, too. I am not too familiar with Dota 2, but I can tell you why I picked CS:GO. There are a number of reasons:
    • CS:GO is a first-person Source engine game.
    • The different types of data I wanted to collect could be dated back to almost the start of the CS:GO beta and all of it could be found for the whole span of time from its release till today.
    • CS:GO had not the 'easiest' start for the high-profile game it is on Steam.
    • The factor 'sales' could be included, because I was curious about its effects.
    • The player numbers of CS:GO have become massive in comparison to its predecessors.
    • Certain item-based systems and mechanisms were introduced half way between.
    • The cosmetics are rather modest in comparison to the other Source engine titles.

    I'd be interested in what we can find out about other games on Steam, but here are a few reasons that made me not pick Dota 2:
    • It already had an item system during its beta.
    • Dota 2 is in a different genre, it is a 'Multiplayer Online Battle Arena'-game (MOBA) and not a first-person shooter/melee game.
    • Other MOBA-competitors like 'League of Legends' already had achieved player numbers in the millions.
    • Being a free-to-play high-profile MOBA game from Valve itself, Dota 2 had no serious competitors during its start on the Steam platform. (<-> CS:GO vs. CS 1.6 vs. CS:S)
    • Dota 2 had already reached six-figure player numbers shortly after its start.

    (Correct me if anything is wrong, I haven't researched Dota in depth.)

    'Team Fortress 2' would have been a great candidate, too, but I couldn't find detailed information about a few events that happened earlier in its history.

    I have added a few details on my CS:GO chart, so everyone is able to follow my thoughts a bit better:


    Keep in mind that this chart displays the average number of players per month. Each number represents a month, but since the chart is not interactive, I had to shrink the x-axis a bit. This basically means that a medium to high but short increase of player numbers might not raise those numbers in a significant way or at all.

    My personal interpretation:
    I think that the additions that focused on items and item systems had a rather large effect on how the game could steadily increase its player numbers. This does not mean that they actively increased the numbers, but it seems they helped to maintain them or were the 'unlit campfire' that Valve placed and then just needed to light up in a proper way with sales and other 'press pushes'. The sales usually also include that certain games are placed on a more visible spot inside the Steam store.

    There is an area that I called 'counter sales' (which were probably countering the marked red point) and next to it are already the famous 'winter sales'. All of those were not able to significantly increase the average player numbers and by mid-2013 CS:GO was approximately on the same level of mid-to-end-2012.

    It should also be mentioned that many [I only marked a few.] of the larger updates after 'Operation Payback' started to make use of the system introduced by the 'Arms Deal Update' and included something related to the item system.
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