Valve announces Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, playable at PAX

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Evan Lahti at

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As rumor confirmations go, this one's pretty quick. Valve just issued a press release announcing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a standalone release that seems to be a full update of Counter-Strike: Source with new weapons, maps, matchmaking, leaderboards, and more. No screenshots have been released, but from Valve's language, it seems like more of an "anniversary edition" of CS:S that dresses up the existing content than a full-on sequel. CS:GO will also be released on Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network. Read the full press release within.

Update—Craig Levine, co-founder of the ESEA, has posted a lengthy write-up based on hands-on time with CS:GO. Within: weapon balancing changes, decoy grenades, a new heavy MG, molotovs, and holy hell they made the AK more expensive. Read it. (Thanks to Slasher for the link.)

VALVE ANNOUNCES COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE (CS: GO)

Next Gen Console, PC, and Mac Release Targeted for Early 2012

August 13, 2011 - Valve, creators of best-selling game franchises (such as Counter-Strike, Half-Life, Left 4 Dead, Portal, and Team Fortress) and leading technologies (such as Steam and Source), today announced Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO).

Targeted for release via Playstation Network, Xbox Live Arcade, and Steam (for PC and Mac) in early 2012, CS: GO will expand upon the team-based action gameplay that it pioneered when it was launched exactly 12 years ago (CS beta 1, August 1999).

CS: GO features new maps, characters, and weapons and delivers updated versions of the classic CS content (de_dust, etc.). In addition, CS: GO will introduce new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leader boards, and more.

"Counter-Strike took the gaming industry by surprise when the unlikely MOD became the most played online PC action game in the world almost immediately after its release in August 1999," said Doug Lombard, VP of Marketing at Valve. "For the past 12 years, it has continued to be one of the most-played games in the world, headline competitive gaming tournaments and selling over 25 million units worldwide across the franchise. CS: GO promises to expand on CS' award-winning gameplay and deliver it to gamers on the PC as well as the next gen consoles and the Mac."

CS: GO is being developed by Valve in cooperation with Seattle-based Hidden Path Entertainment. The title is targeted for release in early 2012 and will be playable at this year's PAX Prime and London Games Festival.

For more information, please visit http://store.steampowered.com/app/1800/

We have contacted Valve to comment on potential hat functionality. In all seriousness, we should've seen this coming--Hidden Path helped Valve update CS:S a year ago with achievements and a few other bells. But that patch was so modest; it seemed like an experiment that would precede something bigger.

That CS:GO will be multiplatform is interesting, if only because it's a surprise that it took Valve this long to bring CS:S to consoles.