Video-game virtual gun sells for more than RM4mil


An anonymous buyer acquired the Counter-Strike 2 digital enhancement, known as a skin, after topping two rivals’ bids of US$1mil (RM4.69mil), one broker said. The rare gun accessory features wood details and a blue-and-yellow tie-dye design. — Unsplash

A digital accessory for a video-game gun sold for more than US$1mil (RM4.69mil) on June 5, according to the brokers, marking one of the biggest such purchases ever.

An anonymous buyer acquired the Counter-Strike 2 digital enhancement, known as a skin, after topping two rivals’ bids of US$1mil (RM4.69mil), one broker said. The rare gun accessory features wood details and a blue-and-yellow tie-dye design.

“People see this stuff, and they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s money laundering’,” said Oliver Behrensdorff, who runs a site called SkinBid.com and facilitated the payment for which, he noted, all the appropriate money laundering precautions were taken. “It was actually super legitimate, as if you were selling anything else, with contracts and everything.”

Sam Alexander, the broker for the anonymous seller, confirmed the details of the sale.

Digital products in video games now fuel the US$184bil (RM863.97bil) industry. In the last quarter alone, Roblox Corp players spent US$924mil (RM4.33bil) on virtual currency and items to dress up their avatars. Counter-Strike skins often move through a third-party market.

Just like cryptocurrencies and nonfungible tokens, known as NFTs, Counter-Strike 2 gun skins can be subject to frenzied market speculation. However, gamers like to boast that, unlike those digital assets, the gun skins have an obvious utility. Players get to show them off in Counter-Strike 2 in front of legions of rival players. They also have used the skins to gamble on such things as the outcomes of esports matches.

Since 2022, the average price of midlevel skins has increased by 69%, according to Pricempire.com, which tracks sales. Valve Corp, the maker of Counter-Strike 2, introduced the items in 2013.

The news of the sale was first reported by gaming influencer Jake Lucky. According to the brokers, the parties involved signed a nondisclosure agreement preventing the specific final price from being made public. – Bloomberg

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