Newly released statistics may confirm Counter-Strike: Global Offense players’ worst fear since Valve announced the game moving to free-to-play.
Valve Anti-Cheat banned over 900,000 accounts in January, the highest number of bans in a single month since the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offense. The anti-cheat software was averaging 25,000 bans per day last month.
Using third-party tool SteamDB shows that the collected statistics may shoot up past one million bans once the script fully updates January’s data.
“A huge majority of the bans are on freshly registered accounts,” said SteamDB’s creator Pavel Djundik. “There were always more bans of fresher accounts, but when CS:GO went free-to-play, this ratio just went through the roof, so I think it’s safe to say that a huge majority of the VAC bans are for CS:GO.”
While it can’t be proven which game the accounts were playing when banned, the ban wave does directly coincide with the free-to-play move. Seasoned CS:GO players have voiced concerns that more cheaters and hackers would infiltrate the game in its new state, and these stats may speak directly to that worry.
When Counter-Strike: Global Offensive switched to being a free game on Steam in December, the game’s store page was flooded with 14,327 negative Steam reviews on the first day alone. This was the most negative reviews in a single day for CS:GO since the creation of Steam’s user review system in 2013.
CS:GO currently has 46,628 negative reviews totaled in December, and 10,826 in January.
Most of the reviews state that it’s now impossible to avoid trolls and hackers. Many veteran gamers are also demanding their money back, stating it’s unfair they had to pay for a game that is now free.
Valve has yet to make a statement regarding the decision to make CS:GO free-to-play.