How old is CSGO? Source 2 would be a much-needed refresh

By Kenneth Williams

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Mar 18, 2023

Reading time: 2 min

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the oldest esports, but nailing its exact age is tricker than you may expect.

CSGO is a pillar of online gaming. The tactical shooter continues to set new player count records more than a decade into its release, with more players joining than leaving every day. This is largely due to rumors about a long-awaited engine transfer to Source 2, but it is still a telling sign that CSGO is here to stay. If you’re curious about exactly how old CSGO really is, here’s multiple answers that will hopefully satisfy you.

According to the game’s developer Valve, CSGO is officially ten-and-a-half years old with an official release date of August 21, 2012. That date marks the first time that anyone with a Steam account could purchase and play the game. Notably, CSGO cost $15 to purchase when it first came out. That changed with the free-to-play switch in late 2018.

However, studious CSGO fans could argue that the game is even older than that. The first beta tests for CSGO started on November 30, 2011, which would add another year to the game’s age at 11-and-a-half years old. That version of the game was only available to a select group of gamers who either attended gaming conventions or filled out a special survey to get access codes. A similar situation could muddy future discussions of how old CSGO Source 2 is, if all those rumors turn out to be true anyway.

After CSGO, how old is Counter-Strike?

As for the actual series itself, Counter-Strike is approximately 23 years old with a release date of November 8, 2000. 

The very first Counter-Strike released as a mod for Half-Life, but the game and its developers were formally purchased by Valve early in the game’s release. The mod was free for players to download and apply to the GoldSrc engine, but Valve quickly got to work on a paid retail release.

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However, just like with answering how old CSGO is, the original Counter-Strike also had a beta test that could contribute to its age in some fans’ eyes. An informal beta was held starting on June 19, 1999 and persisted until the formal release. Using that date, the Counter-Strike franchise is a few months shy of being 24 years old.

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