She added, "It turns out that our community values finishes that look like paint guns over military camouflages. People are aspiring to a sport, rather than war." There were plenty of other really interesting lessons to be found from the marketplace too, such as how the history of a Counter Strike weapon can play a big part in the price it sells at. The P250 pistol, for example, is used way more than the deagle in CS:GO -- yet, because it was such an important weapon in previous Counter-Strike games, deagles on average sell for far higher than P250s on the marketplace. Also, skins don't matter as much as the weapon itself when it comes to price. AKs, M4s and AWPs sell for for higher than any other weapon, no matter the skin, simply because those are the go-to weapons for most players (although I'm personally a P90 sorta guy myself.) Another interesting point to consider: Weapons cases usually contain more common weapons than rare weapons, but when you receive a weapon via a straight-up weapon drop, there's a higher chance it'll be up the top of the rarity scale. This means that it's actually possible that a weapon which is supposed to be rare might become more common than weapons below it on the rarity scale, causing its price to drop, and meaning "more common" weapons actually become more valuable in the long run. Gamasutra investigated the underbelly of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive marketplace earlier this year, finding the gunrunners of the CS scene.
"People make hideous guns. So what do people actually want? We're the only service provider, and our taste might not match with our customers."
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The inner workings of the CS:GO marketplace, according to Valve
Bronwen Grimes, technical artist on CS:GO, talked today about the road to discovering exactly what skins players wanted, and how they differed from Valve's original thoughts on the matter.