Still playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive? The most popular video game (by far) in the Counter-Strike franchise is still a huge success a decade after its release, with an average of over 1.5 million daily active players, making it the most played video game on Steam, ahead of games like DOTA 2 and Apex Legends.
The popularity of Valve’s title is such that we all knew a sequel was coming sooner or later, something that became a reality at the end of March with the announcement of Counter-Strike 2. This sequel/new version of CS:GO is scheduled for summer 2023, and will feature major new features, such as changes to the smoke interaction and a significant improvement in server tickrate.
But what exactly is the reason for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s tremendous popularity? For starters, it’s not just one reason – there are several reasons why CS:GO continues to be a hit with the gaming community.
First of all, the gameplay is very intuitive and simple: CS:GO is an online first-person shooter that is basically kill or be killed. But unlike Call of Duty, in CS:GO there is no leveling system and no character upgrades. In addition, everyone has the same life and access to the same weapons. In other words: to be more successful in your games, you will have to improve as a player, think better about your actions and get along well with your teammates.
Secondly, it has a very particular ecosystem that revolves around weapon skins. By playing games, you can get skins for weapons that have no effect on their functioning, other than aesthetics. In a game where they are all technically the same, many try to differentiate themselves by sporting their favourite skins, acquiring them on the Steam Community Market, where some can sell for a lot of money.
Thirdly, it is a game that continues to be constantly updated more than 10 years after its release. That, as many players of successful online games such as Fortnite or GTA Online will know, is an important component in keeping players coming back and playing the game. Every few years the graphics are updated, new features and skins are added, so players always have a reason to play.
Fourthly, CS:GO is a game with a unique idea. While other online shooters are based on a deathmatch, in which the player constantly respawns every time they die until a certain score is reached or a specific objective is achieved, in CS:GO you have to be very careful with your life, as you will not respawn until the round is over. In addition, it has its own economy whereby you can only buy better weapons if you achieve certain objectives, kill enemies and manage the money you have well.
Fifthly, this is a video game that has a huge number of tournaments and events every year, held practically all over the world. What’s more, its success is so great that many of the prizes awarded to the winners of CS:GO tournaments can range from thousands to millions of dollars. The game’s community is made up of top professionals with many years of experience, which is a huge draw for millions of players around the world, who never miss a single event of their favourite game.
Will Counter-Strike 2 be able to surpass this titan? We’ll have to wait patiently for a few months to see for ourselves, but (if you’re lucky) you can also try out its beta and see some of the many new features Valve’s next game will bring.
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