Valve wants to merge the two Counter-Strike communities with the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
The original, 11-year-old Counter-Strike (1.6) game is currently Valve's most-played title on Steam, and its successor, Counter-Strike Source, is the studio's third-most played game. Yet with the release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Valve is essentially faced with the daunting task of luring those two communities away from their beloved games and stick with the newer product. That said, how will Valve end the seven year division between the two without shutting the games down completely?
One way to get them interested is to implement suggestions made by the pro Counter-Strike community. In an interview with Develop, Valve writer Chet Faliszek said they didn't take that route with Counter-Strike Source. "With Global Offensive we want to make sure that we’re doing what they want," he said. "Or that we at least understand the implications of what they’re asking for."
Other ways to get the long-term fans interested in the new game is to bring them into the closed beta so that they can help mold the shooter into what it should be, and to even bring them directly into the studio itself to play-test the beta right in front of the developers' eyes and ears. Feedback through forums is one thing -- doing so face-to-face with the game's creators can lead to a better understanding of what the players want, and what the developer is trying to create.
"It’s a really good way of testing your ideas," he said. "As a developer we may have what we think is a great idea, but then we realize people aren’t playing the game the way that we want them to. So you have to lead them to play it that way, and then you’ll find out the adjustments you have to make for that to happen."
"With Global Offensive, we’re making it to be the best version of Counter-Strike, and the one that people should be playing – but we can’t force that," he added. "We need to talk with those players and try to understand their concerns. But we know the 1.6 players and the CSS players are looking for something new. I think they’d like something from us that can incorporate them into being one."
Possibly one of the big selling points of Global Offensive is a possible support for cross-platform play between the Mac, PC and PlayStation 3. This in itself could open up a whole new batch of players who may have been unable to play a Counter-Strike title on their PC. Previous reports indicated that the PS3 to PC cross-platform support was a done deal, but Faliszek seems to indicate otherwise.
"We’re looking at it," he admitted. "It’s something that we’ll find out during the beta. We don't want to hamstring one platform to another."
He goes on to indicate that there's still details to hammer out in regards to Steamworks functioning at its full potential -- including handing out incremental updates -- on the PlayStation Network. And so far, there's still no sign of Steamworks support on the Xbox 360, but that hasn't been crossed off the list just yet.
"We’ll see," he said when asked about Steamworks on Microsoft's console. "That’s something Microsoft will has to decide. There’s some things going on with Portal 2 right now, but we’ll see. "
To read the full interview, head here.