Valve likely made over $1bn last year from loot boxes in Counter-Strike 2.
That’s according to data from CS2 Case Tracker (thanks Dexerto), which released a 2023 year in review.
The most striking statistic is that $980m was spent by players on keys for cases, the free-to-play game’s loot box equivalent.
Cases for randomised items can be earned as level drops simply by playing the game, or they can be purchased from Steam’s community market. However, to unlock these players must buy a key first.
That $980m figure, then, is just for purchasing keys and doesn’t include the 15 percent cut Valve makes on all cases sold on the community market.
It means the overall figure made from both cases and keys is likely over $1bn.
CS2 Case Tracker also identified two significant peaks for unboxing numbers: first in March and April, shortly after the announcement of Counter-Strike 2, and then again in October after the game’s release a month prior.
In total, 400,318,821 cases were unboxed last year.
Loot boxes are of course a controversial inclusion in games, but a primary way for Valve to earn money from Counter-Strike 2, which is consistently one of the most played games on Steam.
Last year the UK games industry agreed to restrict access to in-game loot boxes for children, thanks to new industry guidelines from Ukie and the government.