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Valve teases CS:GO players with another ‘Counter-Strike 2’ reference, this time in the Steam backend

A couple weeks ago, data mined from an Nvidia driver intensified speculation that Valve is close to releasing a new version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on its Source 2 engine. Now Valve is mucking around with the CS:GO data on the Steam backend, and if this rumored Source 2 version isn’t actually imminent, then Gabe is just messing with us on purpose.

Data excavator Aquarius, who previously appeared in that Nvidia driver story, said today that Valve added Source 2 files to the CS:GO “developer pre-release branch.” The SteamDB changelog in question is just a bunch of numbers to me, but the excitement is explained by Aquarius’ analysis of a change from earlier in the month, which compares CS:GO’s files to Dota 2’s.

For non-CS:GO data watchers, it’s a little easier to understand the Steam backend change that came next, which adds a “Limited Test Build” to CS:GO’s Steam database with the executable “cs2.exe,” which is presumed to either be shorthand for “the Source 2 version of CS:GO,” or indication that Valve plans to just call the new version “Counter-Strike 2.” It’s not like anyone’s really attached to the “Global Offensive” name, so I could see that happening.

Valve has made no public indication of what it’s up to, and this Source 2 update has been rumored for a while, but it would be just like Valve to drop the news without any preamble. It could go into beta tomorrow, even.

If we’re talking about a straight Source 2 port of CS:GO, the average Counter-Strike player may not notice a big difference—in theory, the Source 2 version will play just like the Source version. The engine upgrade will have long-term effects on the game and its continued development, though, and there could be more to “cs2.exe.” Valve may really be treating this like a sequel, and not just an engine upgrade.

For now, we watch SteamDB and wait.


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