A YouTube prank for April Fool’s cost a lot of Counter-Strike players some money.
The prank in question comes from a YouTube video posted by McSkillet. The prank involved a new giveaway for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where players could trade covert skins for a random game knife. This may seem odd, but the reason for this being a “good” deal is due to the market pricing; Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has an in-game store where players can purchase in-game skins with real money. The covert skins are priced at about $3 a piece, while knives, one of the more useful weapons in the game, were priced at around a minimum of $40, with some exceeding over $1,000.
Naturally, purchasing 10 covert skins at $3 a piece and trading them in for a knife is such a lucrative deal, many players fell for it. CS:GO had a massive influx of in-game purchases for covert skins, mostly on low-cost weapons, such as the AUG Chameleon or the MAC 10 Neon Rider. A user on Reddit by the name of “thesado” broke down the purchases and market changes seen when the prank was in full swing. In about five hours, the prices for skins for these weapons increased ten-fold, and according to thesado, players ponied up over an estimated $53,531 worth of purchases.
Thesado breaks down the purchases in a spreadsheet, noting that most players opted for AUG Chameleon skins, with an estimated $38,967 alone spent on the gun. It is estimated that players spent an average of $15, and if the estimate of over $53,000 is true, Valve will receive a cut of the profits at 15%, or roughly, an extra $8,000 due to the prank.
The use of AUG Chameleon may be in part because that was what McSkillet used and noted was very cheap. In his video attempting to portray the joke update, he showed the trade up contract redeeming the 10 AUG Chameleon skins for the Karambit Doppler Sapphire knife skin, which he said goes for over $2000.
The only residual effect this had for Counter-Strike was a change in the pricing of in-game skins for a time, which fluctuated the game’s economy. Thankfully, players who did fall for the prank can cut their losses and sell back or trade purchased items if they wish, so they can get some of their money back if they choose to.
Overall though, it’s another reason to not trust everything you hear on April 1st.
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