No, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive isn’t going free-to-play — not yet, anyway. Still, a recent announcement and upcoming release of a spin-off title on Steam could herald a full F2P mode for Valve’s mega-popular shooter, or at least get a few more people to buy the existing, pay-to-play, game.
According to yesterday’s patch notes, “Later today, CS:GO will be freely available for offline play and GOTV viewing by installing “CS:GO – Free” from the Steam Store.” GOTV allows users to watch games from inside the CSGO client — most notably, the FACEIT London Major, which will take place on Sept. 5.
There are plenty of other free ways to check out the action, notably Twitch, YouTube, and the new Steam.tv, but getting a few extra eyeballs through the game can’t hurt. And hey, if you have the game — or a free-ish version of it already unlocked and downloaded — maybe you’ll be tempted to buy the whole thing. Or, perhaps this is just an experiment to see how people react to “FREE CSGO!”
In any case, despite yesterday’s claim that CS:GO — Free would be available “later today,” we can’t seem to find it on the Steam Store, either as its own entry or as part of the main CS:GO page; it’s not even an “upcoming release.” Valve’s got a few days before the FACEIT tournament to sort things out, so we’ll see if CS:GO — Free makes it onto Steam by then.