Counter-Strike – The History of the Successful Franchise
When you say first-person shooter, the first thing on your mind has to be Counter-Strike. Yes, I know it’s not the only first-person shooter game out there, but it’s the one that’s made a significant difference in the genre. The Counter-Strike franchise has been around since 1999, developed by Valve Corporation and Hidden Path Entertainment and it’s still alive and kicking! Nowadays we have online streaming, CSGO boosting etc; but let’s talk about the history of this incredible first-person shooter franchise!
In general, Counter-Strike series focuses on an ongoing multiplayer battles between the terrorists and the counter-terrorists. The two teams have goals they need to reach in order to gain a point and win a round, and eventually, secure their victory. Back then, there were not too many games dealing with the “terrorists and counter terrorists” theme (Rainbow Six was one, though), and the creators were inspired to design a game centered on this type of conflict. The theme was inspiring, yet challenging, because it required more realistic settings, not like Quake or Unreal Tournament. The choice was made, and it was mod Half-Life.
The popularity of the chosen mod surprised creators! But, here, their story didn’t stop – it was a humble, yet promising beginning! They ran the website where players discussed the game and, according to the feedback the creators received, they were making alterations while developing the subsequent versions of Counter-Strike. The involvement the community had was so significant that no levels were made by game developers, but the community! The development of the game was a team work, but unlike in other occasions, here the team included both the creators and the players!
The idea to create a first-person shooter game steeped in realism really paid off, because Valve Corporation took interest in it and acquired the rights to re-release the PC version of the game in 2000. Yes, above-mentioned Quake and Unreal Tournament were quite popular back then, but the key to the huge success of the Counter-Strike was the emphasis on teamwork and slower-paced, more real, combat. And, yes, those elements are something we associate with a first-person shooter genre nowadays; games steeped in realism such as Medal of Honor, Battlefield and Call of Duty became increasingly popular.
The last game from the franchise is Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and it was released in 2012 (the Linux version was released in 2014, though), 13 years after the first mod. It features brand new maps, game modes and characters, as well as revamped versions of classic maps. Although it was planned to enable cross-platform multiplayer between PlayStation 3, Linux, OS X and Windows players, it’s limited to Linux, OS X and Windows.
In addition to normal tournament circuits, Valve Corporation organizes and co-sponsors majors – a series of events. Why are these events worth mentioning? They have crowdfunded large prize pools of $250,000 and increased attendance, not to mention millions online viewers and over ten thousand live viewers in stadiums! The last one MLG Major Championship: Columbus took place between the 29th of March and the 3rd of April, 2016 – Luminosity Gaming won the prize.
How come there is still a place for CS with all those (astonishing) games with the similar vibration? The truth is, players appreciate the skill-based gameplay no other game has and, probably, its simplicity. Well, majors have their role in its popularity, without any doubt, too.