While snacking on Ronald's heaping helping of Shortbread this morning, I stumbled upon news that Valve has released yet another update to Counter-Strike: Source. The update looks to be little more than minor gameplay tweaks and fixes. What's interesting is the fact that Valve continues to support a game that's more than a decade old.
Counter-Strike was first released as a mod for Half-Life back in the summer of 1999. I remember because I downloaded it on day one and proceeded to play until the wee hours of the morning with a bunch of friends. The gameplay was instantly addictive, and Counter-Strike quickly became a staple of our weekend LAN parties. Eventually, Valve picked up the mod and released an updated version dubbed Counter-Strike: Source. That was more than six years ago, and the game is still being supported to this day.
Looking at Valve's Steam stats, it's easy to see why. As I write this, over 131,000 people are playing versions of Counter-Strike on Steam. Only about 40,000 are playing the Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer, and a little less than 35,000 are fragging opponents in Modern Warfare 2. Despite its age—and perhaps because it runs so well on older hardware—Counter-Strike remains one of the most popular online FPS games in the world. Counter-Strike is surely the most popular PC shooter of the past decade. Considering its humble beginnings, that's really quite remarkable.