For the first time in its life cycle, VALORANT grossed more profit for Riot Games than its biggest competitor CS:GO.
Riot Games took the core gameplay loop of Counter-Strike and added in-hero shooter-like abilities to differentiate from the crowd of FPS games that launch almost every year. Apart from very few success stories like Fortnite, PUBG, and Apex, very few games actually challenged CS:GO’s throne as the biggest FPS games on the PC platform.
On the console, it’s a completely different story. Call of Duty has dominated the FPS console market for a long time now. However, in the PC space, VALORANT has garnered quite a large player base and it seems like it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon since Riot claims they want to support this game for the long run.
VALORANT has all the right ingredients
A recent report claims, in January 2021, Valorant’s player numbers rose by 29% and total earnings were up 39%. During the month, the total revenue of Valorant had exceeded that of CS:GO.
Riot knows how to convert free users into paying users as they already operate League of Legends. They have a lot of data to work with and it really shows. Riot’s freemium model allows the core experience to be completely free for all users.
Since the barrier to entry is so low, a lot of players can try this game. And if they like it they can support the developers by purchasing in-game cosmetic items. Even though the pricing of these skins can be really absurd sometimes, the overall revenue model is a win for the publishers.
As Riot doesn’t sell powers via real money, the model is actually quite fair for free users. And this chart shows that a lot of players are actually purchasing in-game items. Therefore, in 2021, VALORANT officially grossed more money than the reigning champ CS:GO in the tactical shooter space.