The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) community has benefited greatly from the Arms Deal update. As you can see, the game has never been the same.
Priced at $14.99, CS:GO did not really experience a very successful launch. Though it sold more than 1 million units within a week, it was not able to retain a high activity average among players. In fact, it was noted that, in just 2 months of playing, most players had transitioned to Halo 4, Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, or even returned to CS 1.6, to satisfy their shooter fix. This resulted in a sub-50,000 con-current player count for what Valve (the game’s developer) hoped would be its premier first-person shooter for the 10 years. Now, what would be the cause of its low popularity? Reviewers and players put the blame on the franchise not being able to evolve, which means that there is not much new to it from CS 1.6, which would still remain the most popular title in the franchise.
Valve has seemed to put CS:GO back on track with the Arms Deal update. It added the long-requested silenced variants of the USP and M4, not to mention that it favorably added weapon skins to the game. For some, especially those who are not actively playing the game, they would think that this minor addition is just an effort for the developer to monetize the game further, but for a large portion of those who actively played the game, this is truly a monumental addition.
The update made it possible for weapon skins to provide a means for players to individualize themselves, aside from their control mannerisms. For ostentatious players, they can already equip themselves with one of the many colorful skins, while more realistic configurations are available to classy players. For those who hate these ideas altogether, they can still run with the defaults if they are unwilling to assimilate.
The effects of the update were immediate, where previously, CS:GO would just commonly peak at around 26,000 to 40,000 players a day, putting it below both CS: Source and CS 1.6. But now, new and returning players are being quickly brought back into CS:GO, making it one of the most popular games in the world today, with a consistent 500,000+ con-current player count, giving rise to more competitions and attracting sponsors.