The Counter-Strike series is celebrating 22 years of dominating the tactical FPS genre today.
The original Counter-Strike launched on June 19, 1999 as a mod to the original Half-Life, by Minh “Gooseman” Le and Jess Cliffe. Both were soon hired by Valve, who acquired the intellectual property as well as its creators, and officially released for Windows on Nov. 9, 2000. The official CS:GO account celebrated the anniversary of its predecessor’s creation with a light-hearted jab at the expense of its player base.
Since the game’s inception as a Half-Life mod 22 year ago, the Counter-Strike series has grown at a staggering rate, with a handful of official new releases including Condition Zero and Source in 2004 and Global Offensive in 2012. There have also been a couple of spin-offs like the 2008 Counter-Strike Online that targeted the Asian market.
The Counter-Strike series has become one of the most iconic and most played games of all-time, especially with the rise of Global Offensive. The popularity of CS:GO can be attributed to the growth of the Steam platform, as well as the flourishing of the esports scene alongside several streaming platforms. CS:GO sits above all other games on Steam atop the most played charts, leading in active players and highest peak number of players, setting records for both in April 2020 and coming close to breaking those records in just the past few months.
Despite the game’s success, it retains some flaws that have been long ignored by the developers despite constant cries from the player base. Players have long asked for 128-tick servers and a more effective anti-cheat, as well as more content outside of the rare Operation. There are still problematic bugs left unfixed too. But hundreds of thousands of players are still putting hundreds or thousands of hours into the game with no signs of slowing down just yet.