It’s not a secret that Counter Strike shaped many lives during its 18 year development history. Some of us have grown up with it and some got introduced to it along the way. But whatever our touch point is, one thing is certain – we appreciate what the game accomplished.
It’s also a universal opinion that CS is one of the best multiplayer games ever played, largely due to its constantly growing community. Look, there are more than 300,000 players logging in each day into Counter Strike: Global Offensive, however, it is only a scaled up version of what used to be.
It all started as a side project by one Canadian developer, called Minh “Gooseman” Lee. Lee was an avid Half Life player when he decided to create this one mod that featured two teams of players fighting over bombs in a closed arena, designed in the Middle East war-time fashion.
He was still in university back then but what came from his dorm was pure magic. He spent a lot of time putting his idea into work and, one step after another, he came up with the first beta version of his latest idea — Counter Strike.
After his mod received highest praises and a lot of community support, Valve bought the rights to Counter Strike, adapted it a little bit and launched it as a completely independent game. That was in 2000 and the next 17 years completely changed the gaming landscape.
This infographic by Gamopo organized Counter Strike’s development into bite sized chunks that are great for catching up with one of the best rated titles of all time. Let’s dive right in.
YEAR BY YEAR DEVELOPMENT OF COUNTER STRIKE
1998, Half Life – Valve develops their debut video game Half-Life, which Sierra Studios releases with a bang. People love the game so much that the community around it soon explodes and the players start making individual mods.
1999, Counter Strike Beta – Canadian programmer Minh “Gooseman” Le releases a beta version of a new Half Life mod: Counter Strike, with just 4 maps and 9 weapons. Open development paved the way for 17 more beta’s, before the official release.
2000, Counter Strike 1.0 – After 2 years of community built mods, Valve releases Counter Strike for PC. It could be played only on LAN, however it featured two maps that fans were very fond of: cs_assault and de_cbble (now de_cobblestone).
2002, Counter Strike 1.5 – In the updates that followed version 1.0, Valve introduced Valve Anti Cheat (VAC), one of the most popular maps de_dust2 (version 1.1) as well as several new weapons. However, version 1.5 was the last version before the big bang.
2003, Counter Strike 1.6 – Considered the last major update in the original Counter Strike series, version 1.6 featured a brand new, sparkling tactical shield, snipers with crosshairs and several backend updates.
2004, Counter Strike: Condition Zero – Developed by Gearbox and Turtle Rock Studios and Valve, Condition Zero features both singleplayer and multiplayer modes. The game performed poorly, after which it was followed by a single mission campaign called “The Deleted Scenes”.
2004, Counter Strike: Source – Valve uses their new Source engine to overhaul the original Counter Strike. The graphics were drastically improved, however the community around 1.6 was so strong that the large majority wasn’t interested in switching over to CS: Source.
2012, Counter Strike: Global Offensive — The dawn of a new era. CS:GO uses a brand new engine to completely recreate the game and introduce matchmaking. It now boasts with over 10 million monthly users and 2,000 professional tournaments.