CSGO skins & map makers pay revealed after Anubis & Tuscan payments leaked

csgo workshop m4 skinValve

Following a surprise leak of CS:GO files, it has been divulged for the first time how much users with successful workshop entries have been paid from Valve, for both maps and skins.

Valve has made CS:GO a very community-oriented game when adding new content. Many of the maps and skins that are added are creations from the Steam Workshop, where anyone with an account can make a submission.

Those few who are successful in having their submission accepted will not only see their work reach the millions of players in-game but also be entitled to a financial reward from Valve.

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Until now, the exact amount that a successful skin or map submission would make was shrouded in mystery. Following a leak from CS:GO’s item schema API, though, the curtain has been raised.

CS:GO map payments leaked

On March 9, it was found that the CS:GO files included two lines of code that were not expected, revealing “one-time payments” made for two new maps, de_anubis and de_tuscan, at $150,000 each.

In December, Dexerto spoke to the creators of the map Anubis, and touched on the subject of payment. They said the money was “not life-changing,” but was “a really nice bonus.” Given there were three creators of the map, it’s likely the payment was split three ways.

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In the case of Tuscan, this wasn’t in fact a totally new map but rather a visual overhaul of a classic map from CS 1.6.

How much does Valve pay for a CS:GO skin?

But what about skins creators? Following the leak about the map payments, a handful of map and skin creators spoke to Twitch streamer ohnePixel, and while they were coy about their own earnings, they did reveal the average a skin maker will earn for a successful entry.

Almost every skin in CS:GO is added to a ‘case’, which players receive as drops, and then pay around $2 (currency dependent) to acquire a key to open the case.

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This means the amount that a skin maker will earn varies depending on the popularity of the case in which their weapon design is included. But, according to the workshop makers, the average a skin maker would earn is over $400,000.

That’s according to Danger Zone map maker TR3x3r, whose calculations are up to August 6 2022 – meaning the amount will be higher now. “The average skin made, a year ago, which now will be higher, of course, $414,288.”

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Payment is made from Valve monthly and is a percentage of the keys sold for the case. This means that some cases will be outliers. The Clutch Case is opened millions of times every month, and thus was an “extreme positive outlier,” while the Hydra Case, which is less popular, is an “extreme negative outlier.”

This is likely why there is a discrepancy between maps and skins, as skins are an ongoing revenue driver, while a map is a one-time payment.

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stolen csgo art skin m4a4 temukauSteam Workshop
This M4A4 skin was subject to controversy, when the creator was accused of copying the art.

The skin makers also explained that there is no rule on the workshop that prevents them from talking openly about how much they make, but many prefer to keep quiet about it.

In the last CS:GO case, a skin was removed and replaced after it was revealed that it included stolen artwork. With the amount of earning potential, users may be tempted to make their own skin submissions – but everything uploaded to the workshop must be the sole creation of the user.

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