Counter-Strike 2 launched — reaches half a million players within hours

Valve Corp. released the latest edition of its popular Counter-Strike series on Wednesday, creating another version of a shooting game that’s attracted players around the world.

Counter-Strike 2 is a free upgrade to its predecessor, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

The company earns money through the sale of in-game accessories.

The new game quickly amassed 501,000 concurrent players, according to analytics site Steamcharts.

Over a decade has passed since Counter-Strike: Global Offensive debuted.

Since then, the game grew explosively, boasting nearly a million live players at any moment on average.

In May, the game reached a high point, with 1.8 million players logged on. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’s popular esports tournaments, viewed by millions, pay out over $1 million in prize pools.

Valve, a closely held company based in the Seattle suburb of Bellevue, also operates the video-game marketplace Steam. The company has teased the new title since March, but never specified a release date.

Counter-Strike 2 is the largest technical leap forward in Counter-Strike’s history, ensuring new features and updates for years to come,” the company wrote in a March announcement.

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Counter-Strike 2 launched — reaches half a million players within hours