Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is one of the most popular games on Steam, but that hasn’t stopped rumors that the game will soon receive a massive update that will change it overnight. According to a new report from journalist Richard Lewis, sources have confirmed that the hypothetical Counter-Strike 2 is indeed real, with a planned beta release date of March or early April.

The report says that this new game will run on the Source 2 engine, rather than the outdated original Source engine that powers Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. It will feature an improved matchmaking system and 128-bit servers designed to compete with the main competitor in the competitive shooter space, Valorant.

It’s unclear if the two versions of Counter-Strike will co-exist, or if Valve plans to retire Overwatch and completely replace the original Global Offensive. It’s also likely that moving to Source 2 will require higher minimum specs for normal operation.

Counter-Strike 2 would actually be the fifth Counter-Strike. The original Counter-Strike was a third-party mod for Valve’s seminal game, Half Life. These developers and IP rights were acquired by Valve in 2000, before launching the mod as a standalone title that year.

4 years later, Turtle Rock Studios would create the original Counter-Strike 2 game from Counter-Strike, Condition Zero, and later that year, Valve would also release a remake of the first game created using the new Source engine.

Although Counter-Strike has always had a cult following, it wasn’t until 2012’s Global-Offensive that the series really took off, regularly topping Steam’s monthly player charts and second only to PUBG: Battlegrounds in concurrent games. .

Another multiplayer FPS game coming to Steam soon is Arkane’s Redfall, but that’s not the only store where the title will be released. Starting May 2nd, Redfall will also be available on the Xbox Store, both on console and PC for purchase or via Game Pass, as well as the Epic Games Store.

Sometimes when multiplayer games come to multiple platforms, like last year’s Warhammer 40K: Darktide, players are segmented by storefronts. Myself, despite being able to play Darktide last fall through my PC Game Pass subscription, I had to purchase a copy of the game through Steam only because my friends are a bunch of die-hard gamers who refuse to play PC games on any other platform, which really made me rethink some of these friends.