Yesterday the CounterStrike: Global Offensive dev team published an article on their blog detailing the new marketplace ban on CS:GO keys, claiming that “nearly all key purchases that end up being traded or sold on the marketplace are believed to be fraud-sourced”. Moving forward, all newly purchased keys will be locked to the purchasing account (keys already in your inventory can still be traded or uploaded to the marketplace).
Surprisingly, international money laundering might actually be old hat for Valve and their industrious marketplace. Back in 2012 news spread that users were likely laundering assets by purchasing expensive TF2 items with ill-gotten gains to later re-sell as a means of getting clean(ish) cash. Before the likes of second-hand marketplaces, and in lieu of straight trades, players would often use CS:GO keys as a form of currency unto themselves because they had a relatively stable value (set by the Steam marketplace).
The Key Change, as dubbed by the dev team, serves as yet another chapter in CS:GO’s notorious history. Over the years the iconic FPS has played host to match-fixing, unregulated gambling, and plagiarism—all alongside the usual scams and cheating. It almost begs the question: why did players need the ability to buy and trade keys amongst themselves in the first place? If the keys’ sole purpose (beside acting as currency in the underground market) was to open cases, why allow them to be sold or traded at all? Simply put, Valve nets roughly 13% on the marketplace sale of a CS:GO item.
For casual, law-abiding citizens, not much stands to change. Currently, CS:GO is celebrating 20 years of genre defining gameplay with its celebratory CS20 Weapon Case. The article announcing its unveiling is called Catch and Release. I like the FAMAS ‘Commemoration’ skin. Its Factory New variant is currently going for $37 USD. Valve will take 13%. In more light-hearted news, a new Sailor Moon movie is in the works!
Image Source: Valve Corporation