GDC: How did CSGO get so Popular?
One has to wonder how Valve can make one of their shooters the 2nd most played game of all time on Steam. The answer is simple, in formula terms, it had a little mix of everything including a sprinkle of Valve's love, a couple of free weekends, new content such as maps, workshop support, the introduction of weapon cases with new skins, and new operations with new cases and skins!
This was all revealed last week when Valve talked for the third time during GDC and actually showed off a nice chart, which you've probably noticed by now up above, of how the community has grown over 2 years, from the beta, all the way to current affairs now with Operation Phoenix . You can notice certain huge spikes with 2 of the first free weekends and the Dreamhack 2013 event which dramatically increased the popularity of the game, and it's still continuing to grow.
With the assumption of 2.2 million active monthly users for CSGO, it certainly isn't a mystery why it is one of the most popular PC games out there, and pretty much the top dog in the FPS department on PC right now.