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Counter-Strike 2 releases on Steam, but can it beat CS:GO's all-time peak?

Well, the promised day has arrived, and everyone with a Steam account can now play Counter-Strike 2.

A team of five operators huddle together at the end of a match in Counter-Strike 2
Image credit: Valve

Just in case the initial tease, and subsequent Twitter account banner change didn't give you enough of a hint, Counter-Strike 2 has indeed arrived on Wednesday, September 27.

As was always the plan, the game replaced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on Steam. In fact, the Steam store page retains pretty much everything from the original CS:GO page - reviews, details, release date etc., except it now carries the new name.

This is why it's hard to judge Counter-Strike 2's popularity compared to CS:GO, but what's immediately clear is that regardless of what it's called, Counter-Strike is the most played game on Steam. At the time of this writing, the game has 1,192,773 concurrent players online.

It peaked at 1,362,123 concurrent players shortly after the release of Counter-Strike 2. The all-time peak concurrent, however, remains at 1,818,773 - according to SteamDB, a figure achieved five months ago. The updated game could well break that in the next several weeks.

Despite being free-to-play, however, Counter-Strike 2 is also currently Steam's top-selling game. That list only takes into account revenue, so all of that money is being spent on the $15 Prime Status upgrade, as well as other in-game cosmetics. That's enough to trump premium, paid games including Cyberpunk 2077, EA Sports FC 24 and other top-performing recent releases.

It's going to be very interesting to see whether Counter-Strike 2 can somehow beat Global Offensive's popularity, and that's looking very likely given those launch numbers.

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