According to SteamSpy, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has sold 25 million units. This surpasses Minecraft’s sales, which number 24.5 million, making CS:GO the bestselling PC game of the Steam era, and probably of all time.
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To be precise, SteamSpy estimates CS:GO has sold through to 24,965,421 owners. It’s worth noting that SteamSpy isn’t always as accurate as one might hope, and that its own estimate of CS:GO owners has a give-or-take cushion of 124,180. Even removing this many sales gives a figure of 24,841,241, exceeding Minecraft’s 24,537,470 (at time of writing).
The two games have fairly different price points, with Minecraft currently selling for £17.95, whereas CS:GO is priced at £11.99 and usually gets a hefty discount in Steam’s regular sales events.
This, and Steam’s ubiquity, will have helped CS:GO, but not all of its sales necessarily represent unique users. Some folk use alternate ‘smurf’ accounts to play at a lower rank than their skill deserves, getting their kicks by thrashing less skilful players. Some also use cheat software, and when they are caught and banned, will simply purchase another copy of the game. Minecraft has less of an issue with alt accounts (though some people do use them to get around server bans).
CS:GO remains solidly in Steam’s most-played games chart, generally in second place to Valve’s MOBA, Dota 2. As free-to-play games, neither this nor League of Legends, can strictly contend for the ‘bestselling’ title. Team Fortress 2 has an extraordinary 37 million “owners” on Steam, but went free-to-play in June 2011, and was bundled with several other games in Valve’s Orange Box before that, so it probably also doesn’t count.