Chatter over Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) first began this week over on Reddit thanks to a few gamers who personally tested the unannounced title while spending a day at Valve's headquarters in Seattle.
"We didn't have to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement, but they did ask us to not give out any pictures or videos from there before it is released," reads one testimony. The post in itself verified previous reports that Valve was shuttling top Counter-Strike players to Valve's HQ in order to "discuss the future" of Counter-Strike.
After the Reddit post, the E-Sports Entertainment's official Facebook page was updated with a message reading "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive... More info in the morning" along with a picture of Craig Levine turning the gigantic valve in Valve's lobby. A Valve employee dubbed "Cliffe" also posted "Global Offensive" on a Steam forum thread, essentially backing up the unofficial news.
If that wasn't enough to get the rumor bees buzzing, ESL Pro manager Bastian Vieser teased Twitter readers with a message reading "Just spend all day playing the new Counterstrike Global Offensive #CSGO at the #Valve HQ ! God I love my job.”
That should be enough evidence, right?
Then it happened. This article wasn't even complete before Valve Software sent over the official announcement via email. Indeed the new installment is called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO), and it's coming to the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam (PC/Mac) in early 2012.
Acording to the hot-n-fresh press release, CS: GO is being developed by Valve in cooperation with Seattle-based Hidden Path Entertainment, and will expand upon the team-based action gameplay that it pioneered when it was launched exactly 12 years ago (CS beta 1, August 1999). It features new maps, characters, and weapons and delivers updated versions of the classic CS content (de_dust, etc.). In addition, CS: GO will introduce new gameplay modes, matchmaking, leader boards, and more.
"Counter-Strike took the gaming industry by surprise when the unlikely MOD became the most played online PC action game in the world almost immediately after its release in August 1999," said Doug Lombardi, VP of Marketing at Valve. "For the past 12 years, it has continued to be one of the most-played games in the world, headline competitive gaming tournaments and selling over 25 million units worldwide across the franchise. CS: GO promises to expand on CS' award-winning gameplay and deliver it to gamers on the PC as well as the next gen consoles and the Mac."
Valve said CS: GO will be playable at this year's PAX Prime and Eurogamer Expo 2011.