After going free-to-play and adding a new, battle royale-inspired game mode at the start of December, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is posting some of its best-ever player numbers. According to noted CS:GO observer Nors3, the game drew 20,535,709 unique players last month. That’s the most it’s ever recorded, and double November’s numbers.
The increase is less profound on SteamCharts, which tracks average and peak concurrent players, but is still significant. December saw average active players of 395,509 – that’s a month-on-month gain of over 85,000, or 28%. It’s also not far off the game’s all-time record for average concurrents, which is 402,386, recorded in February 2017. Its latest peak concurrents were 746,548 – over 200,000 more than November, but well short of its all-time peak of 850,485, back in April 2016.
CS:GO went on a bad run of form last summer, with average populations dipping below 300,000 for five months in a row. That’s pretty poor by CS:GO standards – the last time numbers were that low was in April 2015, when the game was still growing.
It’s too early to say how long these latest numbers will hold up, but they’ve certainly given Valve’s premier shooter a temporary shot in the arm.