CrossFire (video game)

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CrossFire (video game) logo.png
Developer(s)Smilegate Entertainment
EngineLithtech Jupiter EX
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
  • KOR: May 3, 2007
  • CHN: April 28, 2008
  • NA: January 30, 2009
  • INA: November 7, 2009
  • EU: August 31, 2011
Genre(s)First-person shooter

CrossFire is an online tactical first-person shooter game developed by Smilegate Entertainment for Microsoft Windows. It was first released in South Korea on May 3, 2007.

Due to its popularity in Asia, especially China and South Korea, it has become the world's most-played video game by player count,[1] with a lifetime total of 1 billion users in 80 countries worldwide.[2] It was the world's top-grossing online game as of 2014,[3] and went on to become one of the highest-grossing video games of all time,[4] having grossed $12 billion in lifetime revenue as of 2018.

The game has spawned a media franchise. A film adaptation of the game was announced in October 2015.[5] A Chinese television drama series based on the game (named Cross Fire/穿越火线(网络剧) premiered in July 2020, starring Luhan and Leo Wu. It became a commercial success with more than 1.7 billion views in China as of October 2020.


A mission success screen on a team deathmatch mode, the player holding an M16

CrossFire is a free-to-play first-person shooter that features two mercenary corporations named the "Black List" and "Global Risk," fighting each other in an epic global conflict. Players assume the role of either a Black List or Global Risk mercenary, joining an online team that must work together to complete objective-based scenarios. Except for the Mutation and Wave modes, each mode can support a maximum of 16 players, each divided into an 8-man team.

Players progress and eventually be promoted through various military ranks, beginning at trainee, with the highest being Marshall. Players can also customize their character's equipment and appearance through in-game items.

CrossFire has a free currency which is called "Game Points" (GP), which is earned through playing and completing matches, buying premium items that grant bonus GP, or fulfilling certain missions. Premium and special items like modified weapons can only be bought using monetary currencies. The content tends to vary from version to version.


CrossFire features several game modes, each with unique maps and rules.

Team Deathmatch
A standard mode where teams fight against each other to win. There are 2 ways to win, either reach the required kills, or have the highest kill before the time runs out.
Search and Destroy
Another standard mode where the attacking team (Black List) needs to plant a bomb on one of the two sites, while the defending team (Global Risk) needs to defend their sites from planting the bombs. Unlike TDM, there's no respawn and need to wait for the round to finish until another round before they respawn. Round wins if BL has planted the bomb and defend the site from defusing the bomb or they completely eliminate the defending team, and GR if they managed to defuse the bomb before it explodes, eliminate all of the enemies, or survive without planting the bomb.
Free for All
Another standard mode, but unlike TDM and S&D, there are no teams (perhaps the name of the mode). Player need to kill other players, but quickly respawns after they die in a random location. A player wins via required kills or having the most kills within the limited time.
Mutation Mode
A mode where 2 teams battle against zombies, and vice versa. Soldiers can use any weapon they have, while zombies have special abilities at the cost of health reduction. Supplies drop in random spots for the survivors to pick up, ranging from pistols to grenades. Survivors win if they eliminate all zombies or survive from getting infected, and zombies win if they infect all soldiers. There are 4 types of mutation modes and 2 expansions currently in the game.
Wave Mode
5v5 or 4v4 team based mode. Both teams must destroy the opposition's defense towers in order to reach the base, which has two "Last defense towers" guarding it, and players must destroy those two towers to start damaging the base (clearance of all side towers is not needed). This is the first mode where the player can pick one of eleven classes before joining the room. Each class is different and has its own skills. This mode also introduces NPCs, airstrikes, mortar bombs, energy transmitters and Class Upgrade Systems.
King Mode
No teams. Players compete in a series of mini-games each round, and the players with the highest score gets selected as a commander each round. The game continues until a player reaches a certain score and fight to be crowned the King.
Sheep Mode
No teams. Players compete to get the most points in the end by picking up sheep, which generate points every so often. Once someone has gotten to a point limit set before the game, the golden sheep is spawned, and everyone must fight to see who will get it.
Big Head
Team death match but with a twist, as the player kills they level up, increasing their head size. The maximum is five. A bar will fill up for each team and when it is full, that team will enter "Big Head" mode, where the player is able to instant kill anyone with a melee attack.


CrossFire weapons are based on real-life models, with each weapon belonging to a category. Categories include machine guns, assault rifles and sniper rifles. Each category is functionally similar to their real world counterparts (E.g. Machine guns are heavy, powerful, lay down heavy fire and have long reload times, Submachine guns are lighter and fire faster but deal less damage, Shotguns are effective in close range but ineffective at long distance.) Weapons often have many variations, including different skins which give them different attributes. In addition, the re-skinned versions are often rarer. There are also some weapons which are different from other weapons like the VIP weapons, which have better functions like faster reload, among others. Certain modes have mode-exclusive weapons.


Characters are the avatar of players and are what they will look like while playing in the game. A note is that while all characters are visually unique from each other, they are all functionally the same with no real advantages or disadvantages from each other in terms of stats, apart from a few limited-edition characters who are, for example; able to see better through smoke or reduce the visual incapacitating effects of flash bang grenades.

The characters featured in CrossFire are a combination of both real and fictional Special Forces groups. The real groups featured are: The Russian OMON, the LAPD SWAT, the British SAS, the Brazilian BOPE, the German GSG 9, the Korean 707th Special Mission Group, the United Nations Special Forces, and the American Navy SEALs. Each character also has both a Black List and Global Risk variant. Some characters are bought with GP, while some are bought with premium currency. There are special characters found in some modes like the knight.

There are also mutant characters for the Mutation/Hero modes, which unlike regular game characters, each have unique abilities.

Regional availability[edit]

Region Publisher Release date Closure date Status Notes
South Korea Smilegate (previously Pmang) May 3, 2007 (Pmang's first launch)
December 12, 2013 (Smilegate's relaunch)
July 11, 2012 (previous publisher)
March 3, 2020[6](relaunch)
Japan Playgra (previously Arario) February 23, 2008 March 31, 2018 Closed
Vietnam VTC Online[7] (previously VTC Game) March 18, 2008 Active
China Tencent April 28, 2008 Active
West[8] Smilegate West (previously G4Box) January 30, 2009 (North America) Active Merger of the North America, Europe and Latin America servers
Philippines Smilegate Megaport September 17, 2009 Active
Indonesia Lyto December 8, 2009 December 21, 2020 Closed -
Russia Mail.Ru June 2, 2010 - Active -
Taiwan Macrowell OMG March 24, 2011 March 23, 2014 Closed -
Europe Smilegate West (previously SG Interactive) August 31, 2011 November 7, 2018[8] Merged into the West server -
Brazil Smilegate West November 29, 2011 - Active -
South East Asia Gambooz September 12, 2013 March 17, 2015[9] Closed -
Latin America Smilegate West January 28, 2014 March 18, 2020 Merged into the West server -
Iran Ariogames March 16, 2019 May 7, 2019 Closed Closed due to the US sanctions imposed on Iran
CF Zero Smilegate December 18.2019 October 28. 2020 Closed -
Egypt, EU & Asia Pharaoh Gaming[10] February 22, 2017 Active

Commercial performance[edit]

CrossFire is the most played video game worldwide, with 6 million concurrent users and 1 billion registered players in February 2020, according to developer Smilegate,[11] with the majority of players in Asia, especially China and South Korea.[12] The game had 660 million players worldwide by 2018,[13] and has reached a lifetime total of 1 billion users in 80 countries as of 2020.[2]

In 2013, the game was one of the three most popular video games in China, with a revenue of almost $1 billion.[14] It was the world's top-grossing game of 2014 at ₩1.5 trillion ($1.3 billion).[3] By 2015, CrossFire had grossed $6.8 billion,[15] making it one of the top five highest-grossing video games of all time, along with Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Street Fighter II and World of Warcraft.[4] CrossFire grossed $1.1 billion in 2016 and $1.4 billion in 2017, making it one of the three top-grossing PC games for both years, along with League of Legends and Dungeon Fighter Online (DFO).[16][17] In 2018, CrossFire grossed $1.3 billion, making it one of the year's five top-grossing video games, along with Fortnite, DFO, League of Legends and Pokémon Go.[18] It grossed $1.4 billion in 2019,[19] bringing its lifetime revenue to $12 billion as of 2019.


Crossfire Mobile[edit]

Crossfire Mobile is a free application for mobile users to play a separate CrossFire experience on the go; while maintaining the overall aesthetic of the original game. The application is developed by Smilegate and Tencent. The game is running on Unity and was released on December 3 (2015) for iOS and Android devices to all markets. The game is now only operating in China as other markets have been closed.

Crossfire Zero[edit]

Crossfire Zero was a free spin-off first-person shooter PC game for the Southeast Asian market released in January 2020. This game featured two game modes, one which offered classic modes such as S&D and Team Death Match and the other offering a Battle Royale style mode. The game ran on Unity and has been closed on the 28th October 2020.[20]

Crossfire: Warzone[edit]

Crossfire: Warzone is a spin-off real-time strategy mobile game, for iOS and Android mobile devices.[21] It was developed by Joycity, and released on July 28, 2020.[22]

Crossfire HD[edit]

Crossfire HD is a free spin-off first-person shooter PC game set to be released exclusively for China. This game has been described as a remastered version of the original Crossfire using Unreal Engine 3. Crossfire HD has recently went into a fourth closed beta in China in August 2020.


CrossfireX is a first-person shooter set to be released exclusively for Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Smilegate Entertainment wanted to expand the narrative of the franchise and introduce it to a broader audience. Therefore, the team partnered with Xbox Game Studios to create a console version and entrusted Remedy Entertainment, a Finnish video game developer, to create a single-player campaign for the game.[23] As Remedy at that time was exploring the idea of working on a first-person shooter, and planned on developing multiple projects at once, the team agreed to help Smilegate.[24] Remedy had been working on the single-player portion since 2016.[25] The single-player portion will be powered by Remedy's own Northlight engine, which was used previously in Quantum Break and Control. Remedy was chosen due to the team's expertise in creating memorable fictional worlds and characters. Inspired by Metal Gear Solid and Resident Evil, the team hoped to create characters that are "larger-than-life".[24]

Other media[edit]

Film adaptation[edit]

In October 2015, it was announced that Neal Moritz would be producing a film version of CrossFire, after spending a year weighing up proposals from Hollywood producers and studios.[26]

In February 2020, it was announced that Sony Pictures will be developing the film adaptation, Tencent Pictures will co-produce and co-finance and Moritz will produce through his Original Film banner.[27]

Television drama[edit]

CrossFire, a Chinese television drama series produced by Youhug Media and Tencent Holdings, premiered on July 20, 2020. The plot is a coming-of-age story about two young CrossFire gamers, played by Chinese movie stars Lu Han and Leo Wu, attempting to compete in CrossFire e-sports competitions. The show became a commercial success, receiving more than 980 million views on online streaming platforms within four weeks of release.[28] As of October 2020, the show has received more than 1.7 billion views in China.[29]


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  3. ^ a b Lee Ji-yoon (May 20, 2015). "[Herald Interview] The woman behind success of 'Crossfire'". The Korea Herald. Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
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  10. ^ "CrossFire Pharaoh".
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  15. ^ "The 11 top-grossing video games of all time". Business Insider. August 15, 2015. Archived from the original on November 13, 2017.
  16. ^ "Market Brief — Year in Review 2016". SuperData Research. Archived from the original on January 17, 2017. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
  17. ^ "2017 YEAR IN REVIEW: DIGITAL GAMES AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA" (PDF). SuperData Research. January 25, 2018. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 11, 2018. Retrieved January 30, 2019.
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  19. ^ "2019 Year In Review: Digital Games and Interactive Media" (PDF). SuperData Research. Nielsen Media Research. January 2, 2020. Archived from the original on January 2020. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
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  21. ^ Ghiurca, Andreea (July 29, 2020). "Everything you need to know about real-time strategy and base-building game Crossfire: Warzone". Pocket Gamer. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  22. ^ "CrossFire: Warzone Releases Worldwide". Gamasutra. July 31, 2020. Retrieved October 20, 2020.
  23. ^ "Remedy partners with Smilegate to develop CrossFire 2 campaign". MCVUK. July 28, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  24. ^ a b Van Allen, Eric (July 24, 2020). "Remedy Says CrossfireX Draws Inspiration From Metal Gear and Resident Evil". USgamer. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  25. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (November 21, 2019). "Remedy on making a Call of Duty-style campaign for the biggest FPS in the world". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  26. ^ Kil, Sonia (October 14, 2015). "'Fast & Furious' Producer Neal Moritz to Make Movie of Korean Hit Game 'CrossFire'". Variety. Archived from the original on November 30, 2017. Retrieved December 10, 2017.
  27. ^ Kroll, Justin (February 12, 2020). "'Crossfire' Movie Adaptation Lands at Sony (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
  28. ^ Ye, Josh (August 13, 2020). "Tencent's e-sports drama based on CrossFire game is a smash hit". South China Morning Post. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  29. ^ "'Crossfire' and its 1 Billion Users Are Ready to Hit the Mainstream License Battle". License Global. October 21, 2020. Retrieved January 7, 2021.

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