Counter-Strike officially reaches the all-time lowest average player count in 2023.
During the launch period in September 2023, CS2 faced a heavy backlash due to its buggy gameplay.
The decline in the player count could be because of the initial bugs, many hackers and lack of new in-game content.
After eleven years of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve replaced the game with its next successor, Counter-Strike 2. While CS2 brought a lot of excitement amongst the fans, the developers faced a lot of backlash from the players due to the presence of bugs. In addition to that, playing against cheaters has become common in the game. Upon summing up all these issues, one can understand the reason behind the declination of the CS2 player count after the launch of the game.
One of the CS2 esports content creators, Ozzny, shared the average player count of 2023 on his Twitter, which shows the decline of the average player count from October 2023. Ozzny writes, "CS2 has officially hit its lowest average player count for 2023."
Before the current low average player count, Counter-Strike's player count was the lowest in January 2023, followed by an 18.81% decline in July 2023. While the player count did shuffle before the launch, the numbers declined consistently after the game was out.
Counter-Strike 2: A Buggy Release
I can clearly tell that if you want to become CS2 pro you still have 3 months, don’t play this shit game rn, wait for updates
During the beta days of Counter-Strike 2, the game had a lot of bugs, creating a sense of frustration among the players. To resolve the bugs, Valve did release back-to-back patches, but it had a minor effect on the player's experience.
Starting with the infamous Michael Jackson peak, which went viral last month. While the Michael Jackson Peak was a glitch, people started making content around it, even tutorials on performing MJ Peak in CS2. Apart from the MJ Peak, bugs like Human Turrent Peak, inaccurate 10-second bomb sounds, inconsistent subtick movement, and many more bugs frustrated the players.
While addressing the bugs, popular Counter-Strike player s1mple writes, "I can clearly tell that if you want to become CS2 pro you still have 3 months, don’t play this shit game rn, wait for updates." While most of the bugs have been fixed, players did maintain distance from the game for a while, which can be the reason for the low average player count.
Almost everyone who has got their hands on CS2 must have played a game against cheaters. Nowadays, cheaters in CS2 have become very common, resulting in a poor player experience. Many clips related have gone viral on the internet, showcasing the increasing number of hackers in the game.
The hackers made their way into the game back in the alpha days. One of the most popular clips of the renowned streamer Timthetatman, where he entered into a game with a cheater went viral in March 2023, when the game was in the alpha stages.
New in-game content helps in retaining old players and attracting new players. After years of playing CS:GO, fans expected to see new content like cases, maps and modes in the games, but Valve has yet to release either of the content.
With the launch of CS2 and the removal of CS:GO, fans were disappointed as it felt like the game was just a rebranding of its predecessor. The same old in-game content might be another reason players aren't sticking with CS2 and the game is losing its player base.