As I type this, over 67,000 people are playing Counter-Strike on Steam. That’s more than the number of Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer and Skyrim combined. In fact, if you add the number of folks immersed in the Global Offensive beta, Counter-Strike has more players than any other game on Steam right now.
This is going to date me a little, but I’ve played Counter-Strike on and off since its initial release as a mod for the original Half-Life. That was back in 1999, and the game has certainly progressed a lot since. However, none of the rounds I’ve played over the years has even remotely resembled what’s going down in the cinematic trailer. Perhaps Global Offensive isn’t as prone to frantic rushing and chronic hopping, but I kind of doubt it.
That said, I’m genuinely intrigued by the new release. The game costs only $13.50 right now, 10% off the normal asking price. That’s actually cheaper than the old Counter-Strike: Source, which sells for 20 bucks. It will be interesting to see if the CS franchise eventually moves to a free-to-play model similar to Team Fortress 2. The real-world setting may not lend itself to the customized weapons and ridiculous hats that seem to be funding TF2, though.