Probably in some form, but when is it likely?
Valve’s highly successful first-person tactical multiplayer shooter Counter-Strike and especially its latest iteration Global Offensive (CS:GO), which has been going strong for over eight years, are a staple on Steam, still drawing record-breaking concurrent player numbers on several occasions during 2020. While the pandemic and its relatively fresh free to play nature have certainly helped the game get to that popularity, the formula of Counter-Strike has prevailed for over 20 years, still combining the elements of static gunplay and round economy to an immensely fun and satisfying experience.
Throughout its history, Counter-Strike has gone through several iterations, first from the beta stages, to cornerstone patches 1.3 and 1.6, into Counter-Strike: Source, and finally Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. With this much time having passed since Global Offensive’s release, it begs the question: is a new version of the game ever going to be made?
Will Counter-Strike Make A New Game?
First off, we have to clearly outline that no official statement has been made in the regards to a sequel of the game. The closest to anything news-related in terms of the future of Counter-Strike is that Valve has apparently shelved the idea of porting the game to its Source 2 engine, mainly because it’s having trouble porting the incredible amount of user-generated content like skins and mods to its new engine. With the importance of these features to the CS:GO ecosystem, and with a lack of backwards compatibility, it seems unlikely that a solution will be found soon.
The limitation is as big of a roadblock as it gets, especially with the profitability of CS:GO still steaming ahead. Source 2 seemed like a shoo-in for at least an update, but possibly an entirely new game, and as long as the current system works, it seems unlikely we will see new goodies.
Putting on our heavy speculation hat, we notice a pattern of new versions being closely tied to new engines becoming available. Perhaps outside of Source 2, because of the aforementioned reasons and which market space it inhabits, the only other sidestep could the virtual reality engine that Half-Life: Alyx was built on. Not yet really feasible for a highly competitive experience, a gamer can dream about an age in which playing Counter-Strike in virtual reality could become available, though massive updates would be required for it to makes sense. Needless to say that the monetary hurdle to accessing that version of Counter-Strike currently still remains non-trivial, unlike its current versions. CS:GO can be played on a decade-old machine, Half-Life: Alyx requires a high-end pc and a VR device to get any sort of enjoyment out of.
And so we have to dream of a day when Valve fixes those issues, or the incentive to create another money-printing service becomes cost-effective enough for one of the most profitable companies in the world to consider.
Image via Valve