Valve has announced that Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has gone free-to-play, with immediate effect, and has acquired a battle royal mode entitled Danger Zone.
Announcing the changes to the evergreen first-person shooter on its Steam page, Valve said: “CS:GO is now free to play. All players who played CS:GO before today’s update will receive a commemorative Loyalty Badge they can display on their profile. You were there from the beginning, so show it off! Additionally, all existing CS:GO players have had their accounts upgraded to Prime Status. As before, Prime Status matches you with other Prime Status players. Additionally, your Prime Status will give you access to the new Souvenir MP5-SD | Lab Rats (available by earning XP while playing Danger Zone matches) and the all new Danger Zone Case.”
Predictably, there has been a backlash among CS:GO players who previously paid for the game. As reported by PC Gamer, on December 7, the day after Valve announced the game’s new business model, 14,327 negative reviews were posted on the game’s Steam Store page, with another 4,000 appearing subsequently.
Few of those negative reviews have as yet pertained to Danger Zone, which Valve is positioning slightly differently from the likes of PUBG or Fortnite. Valve describes Danger Zone as: “A fast-paced battle royale game mode built on CS:GO’s tactical gameplay where players use their wits, skill, and resources to fight to the finish. Play solo, or work together as a squad of two or three!”
Danger Zone sessions only accommodate up to 18 players at a time, take place on one map called Blacksite and include special missions such as blasting safes open and carrying hostages to rescue zones. Time will tell whether Danger Zone captures the imagination like its rival battle royale games.