Counter Strike: Global Offensive which back before PUBG and Fortnite, was one of the worlds most played online shooters, is going free to play. Not that big of a deal seeing that the game was cheaper than some Starbucks servings. What’s a big deal though is that CS:GO is getting a Battle Royale mode. Is it a smart business move from Valve? Or a desperate move of a drowning giant to stay a float?
Valve is one of the biggest companies in the game industry. Who’s storefront Steam at one point totally dominated the PC platform. Yet, over last few years they seem to be slowly slipping off their throne. With lack of any quality control, and open doors for anything that can even remotely be called a game, Steam became more of a garbage dump than a professional storefront. Indies were first to flee. Jumping onto Nintendo Switch for even a remote chance to get notice. It seemed that Valve did not mind it that much. What are few indie games amongst thousands of games. Especially when you charge $100 a pop?
What Valve must’ve notice, is Bethesda taking a step away from their store. Fallout 76 might not have been a good game, but there is no doubt that Valve took it as a sign. A Sign that they might lose one of their biggest customer bases. Elder Scrolls and Fallout PC fans. Plus, seeing that EPIC games, the company behind the biggest game on the planet currently, aka Fortnite, is planning to release a storefront. Which not only will offer an opportunity to showcase your games to the whole of Fortnite’s PC player base, but also will offer companies 88% of revenue from sales of their game. Which compared to 65% that Steam offers, is quite a good offer. But what does CS:GO has to do with it?
Well, let’s be honest, Valve must have known about Bethesda moving away from Steam, as well as the EPIC store, months before it was publicly announced. Which might have pushed them to make this quite unusual for them move. CS:GO‘s battle royale mode is called Danger Zone, and is quite small scaled BR compared to other BR games. Hosting, just 18 players at a time, on much smaller map. All of the BR tropes seem to be there, which is great for fans of the genre.
Fans, however, do not seem to be too fond of that mode which honestly seems a little bit shoehorned in. Fans also seem to be very angry at their new free-to-play business model. Which brings special a Prime Status Upgrade. This upgrade grands you exclusive gear, weapons, and item drops. To be fair, all the players that purchased this game originally are automatically updated to the “Prime Status” which is nice.
Overall, Steam is going downhill, and with each bad decision it’s moving faster towards its demise, and CS:GO Danger Zone does not seem like a cushion that will break their fall.