In a recent e-mail to the Counter Strike: Global Offensive community, the developers behind the game confirmed that the popular first-person shooter will be adopting a pay-to-play business model, which will allow the game to offer far more content to gamers than was possible before.

Steam Greenlight, Valve’s popular platform for getting new games on Steam, is now a paid service called Steam Direct. The reason for the change? It’s super awkward for indie game developers to receive a cut of the profits from their games. A lot of them already pay out of their own pockets for certain services, and the Steam Greenlight process is not something you can do easily on a budget.

word-image-1998 Valve dropped a dramatic bombshell last night, announcing that CounterStrike: Global Offensive will radically change its business model. The company essentially abandoned the free-to-play model it used in CSGO for the past three years, believing that bad players were abusing the free-to-play content, hurting the experience for new and existing players. In the future, players will have to pay for access to drops, expiations, skill groups, annual medals and ranked play, and there will no longer be a free path to Prime status. You must pay your $15 or you will forever remain an unpackaged scrub. New players can still play any game type, play on community servers and play on master maps. However, they will no longer receive XP, ranks, drop groups and skill groups; these features will now only be available to players with Prime status. New players can still access Prime status by purchasing a Prime status upgrade from the Steam store, but there is no longer a free path to Prime status. And if you purchase the update in the next two weeks, your current skill groups and XP progression will be preserved. Reactions to these changes have been mixed: Some gamers have praised Valve’s efforts to combat cheaters and said the quality of their games has improved. Others point out that by making free-to-play accounts suck, it will be harder to attract new players or players who don’t have the money to pay, and they will just go play something like Valorizing. View

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