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Valve's sudden sequel reveal means Counter-Strike: Global Offensive gets to reap the reward of rising concurrent players.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 27, 2023

1 Min Read
Key art for Valve's Counter-Strike 2 showing two soldiers lit by an orange-and-white background.

Following last week's official reveal of Counter-Strike 2 from Valve, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has reached a new peak of players on Steam. 

Per SteamDB, the online tactical shooter hit an all-time peak of over 1.5 million concurrent players on March 25 over the weekend. At time of writing, that count has declined slightly to nearly 1.1 million. 

Global Offensive first released in 2012, and is commonly the most-played game on Steam. Even in 2022, the free-to-play game was among the storefront's top bestsellers alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Elden Ring. 

Since Counter-Strike 2 is set to release in June, the player high for Global Offensive may continue to climb in the months ahead. 

What Counter-Strike 2 brings to the Global Offensive

After online rumors, Valve formally announced the existence of Counter-Strike 2 last week, and at the moment, its biggest selling point is that it's intended as a free upgrade to Global Offensive. Whether that means the original 2012 game will still persist in some form is currently unclear. 

It being a simple upgrade free of charge is rather notable. 2009's Left 4 Dead 2 was the subject of pre-release controversy for launching at full price a year after Valve released the first Left 4 Dead.

Sequels to popular online games can often be subject to odd messaging about the relationship they share with their predecessor, as Overwatch 2 showed last year. It appears Valve is taking the most frictionless direction possible to onboard the community for the new game, allowing them to also migrate their in-game inventory.

For the full list of changes (both gameplay and technical-wise) that Counter-Strike 2 will bringValve has an explainer on the game's website.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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