“Glowing Counter strike sticker” (CC BY 2.0) by aditza121
Earlier this month, Kotaku reported that after a reasonably lengthy hiatus Counter-Strike creators Valve have started an official in-game event – otherwise known as an Operation. As Counter-Strike continues to be one of the most popular and successful games franchise on Steam, we thought we’d take a look at the history behind the headshots.
Although Counter-Strike can usually be found at the top of many charts over on Steam, the franchise actually has moderately modest origins.
Speaking to Gamespot, co-creator Minh “Gooseman” Le said that the inspiration behind the endless multiplayer battle comes from real-world terrorist and counter-terrorist conflicts. While it may be hard to believe, there weren’t really many titles that dealt with that particular theme back in mid-90s and so Le thought of it as a “mysterious topic”. Additionally, though Unreal Tournament and Quake were already popular amongst gamers, these titles lacked the realism that Le envisioned. So, he set to work using the Half-Life engine 30 to 40 hours a week while at university.
Fortunately for Le and his partner Cliffe, the gaming community loved Counter-Strike from the moment of its release in 1999. In fact, the community’s feedback and discussions helped Le make alterations to the mod and even influenced future releases. Meanwhile, all of the levels that can be found on the original are actually made by the game’s fans. Even Le himself describes the process of making the original as an “open development” operation.Valve took interest in the game quite quickly and before long the developers had acquired the rights for a 2000 PC re-release. Before long, there were many other titles featuring similar themes, mechanics, and gameplay to Counter-Strike, including Call of Duty,
Valve took interest in the game quite quickly and before long the developers had acquired the rights for a 2000 PC re-release. Before long, there were many other titles featuring similar themes, mechanics and gameplay to Counter-Strike, including Call of Duty, Battlefield and Medal of Honor. While the first similarity between these games and Counter-Strike is the realism that Le worked so hard to achieve, they also use the typical for Counter-Strike, simple yet skill-based mechanics that make gameplay so much more appealing.
In 2004, Turtle Rock Studios released Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and that same year Le and Valve went on to develop Counter-Strike: Source using Half-Life 2’s Source engine. Unfortunately, neither of these titles received a particularly positive reaction. Due to this, Valve and Le decided to approach Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) from an entirely different angle. Fortunately, when CS:GO was released in 2012 the community was once again united behind the Counter-Strike franchise.
To this day, Valve continues to update CS:GO with new maps, weapons and occasionally Operations. Arguably the best addition to the game after its initial release was the “Arms Deal” update on August 13, 2013, which added cosmetic weapons skins. These are special items can be found in cases that are either bought using microtransactions or can occasionally be randomly dropped. CS:GO Cases are so popular and sort after that case opening websites such as Case51 com have begun to appear on the web to provide avid players with their favorite weapons of choice.
Eighteen years after its initial debut, Counter-Strike continues to thrive online and on consoles, with no intention of stopping anytime soon. At this point, many gamers regard the franchise as a staple in competitive gaming and its strong userbase is as loyal as it has ever been.
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Jamie Broadnax is the creator of the online publication and multimedia space for Black women called Black Girl Nerds. Jamie has appeared on MSNBC's The Melissa Harris-Perry Show and The Grio's Top 100. Her Twitter personality has been recognized by Shonda Rhimes as one of her favorites to follow. She is a member of the Critics Choice Association and executive producer of the Black Girl Nerds Podcast.