Recently, Valve introduced a new feature that Prime status for Competitive players in CS: GO (Counter-Strike Global Offensive) can only be bought for the price of US$15 starting from June 2021. The purpose of this was to curb cheating in the game. However, that plan may have backfired badly.
According to CS: GO‘s recent concurrent player count averages as recorded by SteamCharts, the game has seen a 16.7 percent drop since the June 2021 patch that introduced the Prime status paywall. That translates to a decrease of a whopping average of 100,000 players. This is probably the steepest month-on-month decline the game has seen in years.
The Prime status aims to make it harder for cheaters and fake accounts to enter ranked play. Perhaps the players that are dropping out of the game actually belongs to those categories? It’s likely, considering the game is still popular and there’s already an Unranked matchmaking toggle for non-competitive players.