All the hype surrounding CS:GO is now confirmed and no, we won't get Christmas Chickens contrary to Valve's popular tradition.
Valve released a new update, making the full version of CS:GO free-to-play and joining the battle royale mode frenzy with their own Danger Zone game mode.
In their blog post, CS:GO stated that along with the free-to-play patch comes a commemorative Loyalty Badge for players who own CS:GO before the update. All existing users prior to the update will also get a ‘Prime Status’ – an in game feature where users can bind their respective phone numbers – that qualifies them for more Danger Zone features.
As before, Prime Status matches you with other Prime Status players. Additionally, your Prime Status will give you access to the new Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats (available by earning XP while playing Danger Zone matches) and the all new Danger Zone Case.
The all new Danger Zone Case will feature 17 community-designed weapons including new Horizon knives as rare items.
The free-to-play update isn’t relatively new for the CS community. Valve already showed signs of it last August with a patch where they dished a free edition of the game that allowed players to limited features like playing offline with bots and spectating matches in-game.
The patch has been anticipated for days by CS fans after Valve pulled off a different approach for their teaser a couple of days ago. However now that the update dropped, fans are once again split on the potential effects of the new features.
Some users suggest that the F2P decision will bring in more smurf accounts and potential hackers while some see it as CS:GO’s way to revitalize their once dominant play count.
So far, numbers are already kicking in for CS with a peak of over 452K players and counting as of writing. CS after a long time also takes back the lead in Steam's top games by current player count largely due to the update.
It is notable that CS:GO’s playerbase declined for the past year with the emergence of the battle royale genre lead by Steam’s chart topper PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. From healthy peaks around 600-700K, the competition setback CS down to average players at the 200K mark.
CS:GO’s full changelog can be found below:
CSGO – Danger Zone
– Introducing Danger Zone, a fast-paced battle royale game mode built on CS:GO’s tactical gameplay. For more details, visit: www.counter-strike.net/dangerzone
– Danger Zone can be played solo, or in squads of two or three players.
FREE TO PLAY
– CS:GO is now free to play. For more details, visit the F2P FAQ.
– All players who played CS:GO before the Danger Zone update will receive a commemorative Loyalty Badge they can display on their profile.
– All current CS:GO Players have been upgraded to Prime Status
— Prime Status continues to match you with other Prime Status players
— Additionally, your Prime Status will give you access to the new Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats (available by earning XP while playing Danger Zone matches) and the new Danger Zone case.
Danger Zone Case
– Introducing the Danger Zone Case, featuring 17 community-designed weapon finishes, and the Horizon Knives as rare special items.