Analysing the Skin Market after the CS2 Release
Topic: How the CS2 Release Impacted the Skin Market
On September 27, 2023, the world of Counter-Strike changed forever. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was deleted and replaced by Counter-Strike 2. Unfortunately, several aspects of the release were disappointing to many players, as they felt the game had yet to be finished, was missing several of the components that made CS:GO such a good game, and didn’t have enough of a “hype release.”
First Market Movements
Soon after the game’s official release, many users noticed that skin prices were dropping. After a few days, certain skins have dropped by huge numbers, with some high-tier inventory owners reporting losses of thousands of dollars in just 24 hours. As you can see from the EsportFire300 graph, which compiles the value of 300 of the most popular liquid skins in CS2 to demonstrate the overall shift of the CS2 skin economy, prices dropped by over 10%. This is one of the largest drops we have seen since skin prices began normalizing after they skyrocketed in price due to the CS2 announcement.
If you look at the EsportFire All Items Graph, which compiles the value of every single skin in CS2 into one graph, you can see a similar graph shape, however, you may notice that the change in value was only a maximum of less than 5% compared to the nearly 11% change of the EsportFire300 graph. Why is this? Well, this is likely because while the EsportFire300 graph focuses on more expensive and popular items, with an average value of about $120, the All Items Graph highlights the value of all items.
Individual Movement - Vulcan
Individual skins got hit harder by the CS2 announcement than others. For example, the AK-47 | Vulcan in Factory New condition dropped from a value of $834 to just $698, a decrease of nearly 17%.
Individual Movement - Rat Rod
On the other hand, the AK-47 | Rat Rod (Factory New) increased in price from $8.18 to $8.88 a nearly 8% increase in the last week.
Why are CS2 Skin Prices Dropping?
This dilemma has left a lot of CS2 skin enthusiasts questioning: Why are CS2 skins dropping in price after the release? Luckily, we have discovered a few things that seem to be causing this strange price trend.
One of the more minor yet important reasons for the drop in price is the change in skin appearance. Although CS2 was supposed to improve the appearance of skins thanks to the better graphics and lighting provided by the Source 2 engine, some skins were affected in a negative way, appearing worse than they did in CS:GO. Along with this, the official release seems to have messed with the wear of certain skins, with skins that previously looked unworn and “clean” now looking very worn despite their float. Some players were so disappointed in this change that they decided to sell their skins, and some wanted to sell as fast as possible in order to avoid a loss in value caused by the new appearance, so they sold for prices below the skin's actual value.
Fear played a more significant role in the recent price developments of CS2 skins. Some collectors were so disappointed in the release of the game and the lack of additional content next to game-play updates that they seemed to sell higher-tier investments, fearing large losses. This situation, as with many economies, can create a chain reaction; as people sell off most of their skins because of the CS2 release, prices go down, and thus collectors who see prices going down want to sell to avoid losing even more money than they already have.
But all of this is nothing more than irrational fear, and we have proof of this! Remember how we mentioned that cheaper skins like the AK-47 | Rat Rod (Factory New), AK-47 | Black Laminate (Well Worn), AK-47 | Cartel (Well Worn) went up in value, while high-tier skins went down in value? This is vital to our understanding of the skin market’s reaction to the CS2 release. These increases in lower-value playskin prices show us that more players are coming to the game and buying skins, thus disproving any fear of the game “dying.” As long as cheap liquid items are increasing in price, the skin economy is nowhere near any form of destruction, because although high-tier skins are much more expensive, large amounts of cheaper skins make up the bulk of the overall value of the economy.
We hope that we have helped to shine some light on the CS2 release and its impact on the skin market. If you want to continue to follow this story as prices change, you can check out our Indexes or Skin Database, which show price trends of individual items and overall price trends of groups of items. Remember that nothing in this article should be taken as financial advice and that you should always follow your own conscience when it comes to financial decisions, even when they are in a video game.