Counter-Strike (series)

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Counter-Strike Logo.png
The current Counter-Strike series logo.
Genres First-person shooter
Platform of origin Windows
Year of inception 1999
First release Counter-Strike
19 June 1999
Latest release Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
21 August 2012
Official website

Counter-Strike (frequently abbreviated as CS) is a series of multiplayer first-person shooter video games, in which teams of terrorists and counter-terrorists battle to, respectively, perpetrate an act of terror (bombing, hostage-taking) and prevent it (bomb defusal, hostage rescue). The series began on Windows in 1999 with the first version of Counter-Strike. It was initially released as a modification for Half-Life and developed by Minh "Gooseman" Le and Jess "Cliffe" Cliffe, before the rights to the game's intellectual property were acquired by Valve Corporation, the developers of Half-Life.

The game was followed-up with Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, developed by Turtle Rock Studios and released in 2004. Later that same year, Counter-Strike: Source was released by Valve Corporation. Released only eight months after Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, in November 2004, the game was a remake of the original Counter-Strike and the first in the series to run on Valve's newly created Source engine.[1] The fourth game in the main series to have been developed by Valve, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, was released in 2012 for Windows, OS X, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. Hidden Path Entertainment, who also worked on Counter-Strike: Source post-release, helped to develop the game alongside Valve.[2] Several spin-off titles have been released for Asian territories.

Main series[edit]

Timeline of release years
1999 Counter-Strike
2004 Counter-Strike: Condition Zero
Counter-Strike: Source
Counter-Strike Neo
2012 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
Counter-Strike Online
2014 Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies


Main article: Counter-Strike

Originally a modification for Half-Life, the rights to Counter-Strike, as well as the developers working on it, were acquired by Valve Corporation in 2000.

The game received a port to Xbox in 2003.[3] It was also ported to OS X and Linux in the form of a beta in January 2013. A full release was published in April 2013.[4][5]

Counter-Strike: Condition Zero[edit]

Counter-Strike was followed-up with Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, developed by Turtle Rock Studios and released in 2004. It used the Half-Life GoldSrc engine, similar to its predecessor. It was a single-player game instead of a multiplayer one, with a "full" campaign and bonus levels. The game was poorly received in contrast to its predecessor and was quickly followed with a further entry to the series titled Counter-Strike: Source.[6]

Counter-Strike: Source[edit]

Counter-Strike: Source was the first publicly released game by Valve Corporation to run on the Source engine. Counter-Strike: Source was initially released as a beta to members of the Valve Cyber Café Program on 11 August 2004.[1][7] On 18 August 2004, the beta was released to owners of Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and those who had received a Half-Life 2 voucher bundled with some ATI Radeon video cards.[8] While the original release only included a version for Microsoft Windows, the game eventually received a port to OS X on 23 June 2010 with a Linux port afterwards in 2013.[9][10]

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive[edit]

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive was the fourth release in the main, Valve-developed Counter-Strike series in 2012. Much like Counter-Strike: Source and other Valve games released in recent years, the game runs on the Source engine. It is available on Microsoft Windows, OSX, and Linux. It has better graphics than its predecessors, and includes more emphases on competitive gameplay, with competitive matchmaking and a ranking system. Most of the Counter-Strike fanbase have moved to this game, although others still play Source and 1.6.

Spin-off titles[edit]

Counter-Strike Neo[edit]

A Japanese arcade adaptation of Counter-Strike, the original Half-Life multiplayer modification. It is published by Namco, and runs on a Linux system.[11] The game involves anime-designed characters in a futuristic designed version of Counter-Strike. A selection of single-player missions, mini-games, and seasonal events were added to prolong the game's interest with players.[12]

Counter-Strike Online series[edit]

Counter-Strike Online is a free-to-play spin-off available in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Thailand and Vietnam. It was developed by Nexon Co., Ltd. with oversight from Valve. It uses a micropayment model that is managed by a custom version of the Steam back-end.[13] Announced in 2012 and aimed at the Asian gaming market, a sequel titled Counter-Strike Online 2 was developed by Nexon on the Source game engine.[14]

Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies[edit]

In August 2014, Nexon announced Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies, a free-to-play, zombie-themed spin-off,[15] developed on the GoldSrc game engine.[16] On 23 September 2014, an open beta was released on Steam.[17] The game launched on 7 October 2014, featuring 50 maps and 20 game modes.[18] The game features both player versus player modes such as team deathmatch, hostage rescue, bomb defusal, and player versus environment modes such as cooperative campaign missions and base defending.[19] Reception from critics was generally negative with criticism aimed at the game's poor user interface, microtransactions,[19] and dated graphics.[16]


As of August 2011, the Counter-Strike franchise has sold over 25 million units.[20]


  1. ^ a b "Counter-Strike: Source beta begins". GameSpot (CNET Networks). 11 August 2004. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  2. ^ "VALVE ANNOUNCES COUNTER-STRIKE: GLOBAL OFFENSIVE (CS: GO)". Steam. Valve Corporation. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Fahey, Rob (6 June 2003). "E3 2003: Counter-Strike". Eurogamer. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Counter-Strike 1.6 Beta released". Steam. Valve Corporation. 28 January 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Counter-Strike 1.6 update released". Steam. Valve Corporation. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Counter-Strike: Condition Zero for PC Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 20 November 2012. 
  7. ^ "Counter-Strike: Source update history". Valve Corporation. Retrieved 1 July 2008. 
  8. ^ "Counter-Strike: Source Strike ATI Customer". Advanced Micro Devices. Retrieved 1 July 2008. "Counter Strike: Source ATI customer". December 2014. 
  9. ^ "Counter-Strike: Source Update Released". Steam. Valve Corporation. Retrieved 23 June 2010. 
  10. ^ Dawe, Liam (5 February 2013). "Counter Strike Source Has Been Added To The CDR And Apparently Installable Too". GamingOnLinux. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  11. ^ Niizumi, Hirohiko (27 September 2004). "Nvidia partners with Namco". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  12. ^ Waugh, Eric-Jon (27 March 2006). "GDC: The Localization of Counter-Strike in Japan". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  13. ^ "Q&A: Valve Explains Why PC Gaming's Gaining Steam". Gamasutra. 6 March 2008. Retrieved 6 March 2008. 
  14. ^ Mallory, Jordan (6 April 2012). "Nexon, Valve announce Counter-Strike Online 2 for Asian territories". Joystiq. Retrieved 1 April 2013. 
  15. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (7 August 2014). "Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies heads to Steam". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  16. ^ a b Köhler, Stefan (26 October 2014). "Tod durch Untote" [Death by Undead]. GameStar (in German). p. 2. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  17. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (23 September 2014). "Here's a (very) quick look at Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  18. ^ Prescott, Shaun (7 October 2014). "Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies ambles onto Steam today". PC Gamer. Future Publishing. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  19. ^ a b O'Connor, Alice (25 September 2014). "Counter-Strike Nexon: Zombies Shambles Into Open Beta". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 25 July 2015. 
  20. ^ Makuch, Eddie (12 August 2011). "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive firing up early 2012". GameSpot. CBS Interactive Inc. Archived from the original on 16 March 2014. Retrieved 13 August 2011.