Digital assets are all anyone is talking about right now, with a new gold rush with NFTs and cryptocurrencies. But few of them realize that some games can present an interesting and thriving market for online trading opportunities. As part of The Drum’s Gaming Advertising Deep Dive, Jake Stangroom, Executive Creative Content Officer at Honcho, looks at how an in-game poster can increase 165 times the value of bitcoin.
There is one thing that most modern video games have in common: you can spend your hard earned cash on virtual aesthetics to make your character, weapons, and cars look even cooler. And one thing that unites most players, myself included: We love making our characters, weapons, and cars look cooler.
Players are willing to spend so much money on these aesthetic improvements, called “skins,” that the direction of the new business model is to make the game free and only sell these virtual items to generate revenue.
Generally, games will sell the skin directly at a fixed price, or more commonly sell loot boxes, which you have to pay to unlock to get a random skin, with a low chance of getting an extremely rare item.
Counter-Strike Global Offensive (CSGO), the third most popular first-person shooter game for PC only – a game that cost $14.99 before 2018 but is now free – uses this exact method of making a dollar. However, unlike the majority of games, which offer similar loot chest systems, the difference with CSGO is that skins are worth real money and can be sold for cold, hard cash. This is a feature that most mainstream games don’t offer, and the reason why there is a thriving sub-economy with so many investment opportunities in this particular title.
Here’s How The CSGO Sticker Has Become More Valuable Than Bitcoin.
What is CSGO’s Titan Holo Sticker?
The Titan Holo sticker is considered the Holy Grail of CSGO, an extremely rare and coveted item that only the very wealthy can afford. An item that, in 2014, was selling for less than $10 each. But what are the stickers, who is Titan and why is this in-game item more valuable than Bitcoin?
First, the sticker does exactly what you imagine: it’s basically a small graphic that can be applied to any of your weapon shapes to give them more excitement and personality. Labels can come in different shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, with the result that some are more desirable than others, and therefore more expensive. However, the main advantage that led to these extremely rare and expensive stickers is that once a sticker is placed on the skin, there is no way to get it back. If you want to remove the sticker from your skin, the only way is to “scrape” it off, then delete the label.
Back in March 2014, the second major event of CSGO was held. The Grand Tournament is an official tournament run by the game developers, which is basically the equivalent of the Football World Cup in soccer. However, this Specialization was the first time that team stickers were introduced and distributed in sticky capsules (a form of loot box), which were only available for purchase for a very short time during the Specialization. Inside these sticky capsules are eight different team crests (including the esports team “Titan”) in either a shiny “paper” or “holo” shape. However, the odds of getting a Hulu were about one in ten.
How has the value of Titan Holo increased
Here we see the perfect storm for a rare item: an item that could only be obtained for a short time during the early days of CSGO when there were only a few hundred thousand players. There is a 1 in 10 chance of getting a holo sticker and then a 1 in 8 chance that that sticker is the infamous titan holo.
During the first specialty period, these capsules were sold for as low as $0.28 each. And for Titan holos, they were selling as low as $5.55. Fast-forward to 2022 and the last Titan Hollow sold for $62,500 and the cheapest was listed for $73,000. This equates to an increase of 1,126,026% over a gap of just eight years.
To put this in perspective, during this major CSGO in March 2014, the value of bitcoin was $520. Leaping forward another eight years, Bitcoin peaked at $68,000, which means the increase in value is equal to 12976.9% compared to. However, looking at the current Bitcoin price of $36,000 (at the time of writing), the increase now equates to a tiny 6,823.08% increase.
But maybe you want to risk a 1.25% chance of opening one of a capsule? Well, unfortunately, that’s not the price it used to be either. If you want to open one today, they’ll set you back a whopping $13,200. So, for investments, this crown will take a massive increase of 4,714,186% over an eight-year period. Fortunately, if you take the risk and open a capsule, you will not only get a 1.25% chance of Titan holo, other holo stickers are worth a penny.
While CSGO still offers incredible investment opportunities and this is just a microcosm of the digital asset market in games, the space is ready to tap into a bit of trading savvy. Other examples of games on such markets include Dota 2, Rust, and Fortnite. The opportunity to enter early in a growing market can be a good opportunity for those looking to make money in an increasingly digital age.