Why Do You Spend So Much Money On CS:GO Skins?

If you’ve ever played any kind of game, you are probably well aware that rational or “outside” rules rarely apply. That is especially true when it comes to in-game purchases (and CS:GO skins are no different), which we’ve all sworn never to make – only until all we did.

Who’s Buying CS:GO Skins?

And of course, we did, every true gamer knows (and so do the corporations making big bucks off of it) that there are some items that are a must, which means that if you have the money, you’ll spend it. Of course, we are not talking about pay to win features many developers implement as the only way to advance, we are talking about optional features, in most cases completely decorative, that every outsider would call useless, and by no means something someone would spend their money on. So how come we do it after all?

Old ladies play games where they spend loads of money just for their islands, houses, or whatever other vehicle is in play in their game of choice, look pretty. They do it just the same as they’ve once decorated their gardens and balconies – to show them off to neighbours and friends. So if the old ladies, who are members of a completely different (non-digital) generation, do it, it’s no wonder different decos and skins are huge with a much younger audience too.

It’s a Digital World We Live In

It’s not just games either. If you’ve been paying attention to technology trends, you’ll know that the time for NFT (non-fungible token) art has already come, and heavily entered mainstream. If 10 years ago someone told you that a crypto asset that represents ownership of a digital art will be sold through Christie’s for $69 million, would you believe them? Probably not, but that’s exactly what happened a few months ago when a digital artist called Beeple sold blockchain files that represent his collage “Everydays: The First 5000 Days” for the mentioned sum, instantly making him one of the top three most valuable living artists today.

So it’s no surprise that CS:GO skins are also highly valuable items, and it’s been that way for years. But, the stakes have gone up, at least when it comes to publicly known transactions. At the beginning of this year the news broke about how Case Hardened AK-47 (ST MW 661) skin with 4 Titan Katowice 2014 stickers was sold for an unbelievable amount of $150,000. The previous record from July of 2020 stood at $100k for StatTrak M4A4 Howl with 4 iBUYPOWER Katowice 2014 stickers.

Crazy Transaction That Broke all Records

But, a transaction that put to shame all of the previous ones just happened a few days ago. CS:GO player Kirito announced on Twitter that the “largest transaction in the history of CSGO” just went down.  A $780.000 deal was apparently made in person between two Chinese collectors and two CS:GO skins were sold for the mentioned amount: 4x Titan Holo ST MW #661 and 4x Titan Holo Souvenir FN Dragon Lore.

Skin trading business is huge in CS:GO, sure, any player can tell you that, and CS:GO basically became what it is today only after Valve implemented skins into the game in 2013, but these kind of transactions are still rare, at least shared with public.

Why Do We Do it?

So why do we do it? Research is still sparse on the topic, but the ones done so far have emphasized the importance of the “social” factors. In other words, if you engage with other players in-game it’s more likely you’ll spend money. Aka, just as in a real world, if someone has a nice car, house or a garden, you want to have it to. And the fact that “thing” is not material, but virtual, apparently makes no difference at all – if someone can see you have it, it’s worth having.

For the gamers, many will say, it means expressing yourself, the same way you would through clothes, hairstyles or accessories, it brings you status and positions you in the eyes of the others. So the fact that item is “only” digital has really no relevance.

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