Counter Strike Global Offensive Is Now Free To Play
Valve's premier shooter, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) is now free to play. An official news post titled Welcome to the Danger Zone published on December 6, 2018 announced both the free to play conversion and the addition of a new Battle Royale mode called Danger Zone.
CS:GO was released on August 21, 2012 as a buy to play game like its predecessors Counter-Strike: Source (2004) and the original Counter-Strike (2000), the shift to a free to play model was long in the making. The game introduced loot crates which contained random gun skins, decals, and other digital goods years ago. The ability to sell and trade these items on Steam's marketplace led to some novel third-party gambling services, most of which have since been shuttered.
The new Danger Zone mode allows up to 18 players to fight to the death either solo, duo, or in squads of 3. A helpful page on the official Counter Strike website includes a comprehensive guide on what players can expect from the new mode.
All existing players prior to today's patch will receive a commemorative Loyalty Badge which they can display on their profiles to show off their veteran status.
The new free to play model is sure to bring many new players to Valve's iconic shooter, but it may also bring with it an increased concern over hackers. Despite Valve routinely battling hackers with massive waves of bans, hacking continues to be an ongoing issue for the game, even at the professional level.