The Counter-Strike franchise is historically one of the longest gaming franchises still running. It started as a half-life mod pioneered by Jess Cliffe and Minh “Gooseman” Le in 1999, and it was officially released by Valve in 2000. Since then, there have been many versions of the original Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike: Source, and many other spinoff games, and between 2012 and 2023, CS enthusiasts had the opportunity to enjoy Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CSGO). Now that CS2 has been released, many CSGO players are interested in knowing if CSGO will be removed from the Steam storefront now that CS2 is out. Let’s find out what happened.
Was CSGO Removed From Steam When CS2 Was Released?
Yes and no. Why is this a “Yes and no.” situation, you ask? The truth is that CS2 was an “overwrite” of the CSGO game. You can see the evidence for this claim by noticing that the Steam game ID for CS2 is “730”, the same game ID CSGO had. Also, in some parts of the Store Page, “marks” of CSGO are still there, even in-game
However, CSGO is not entirely removed and scrubbed from history.
How to Access and Install Legacy CSGO on Steam
There is a way to access the old, legacy CSGO at this moment. Head out to Steam, right-click on your installation of CS2, and go to Properties. Then, from Betas, you can see the “Beta Participation” section and a drop-down menu, where you can select “csgo_legacy – Legacy Version of CS:GO”, as shown in the screenshot below:
More information about Legacy CSGO can be found on the official Steam announcement.
How to Watch Old CSGO Demos in CS2 in 2023, 2024…
If you have some old demos of yourself, your friends, or some pro tournaments, there is a way to view all of the old demos. When you head out to Properties of CS2 in Steam (right-click on the game in your Library), under Betas, you will see
“csgo_demo_viewer – 220.127.116.11”.
Update: The demo viewer listed above is not available anymore. Please install the csgo_legacy beta branch as described above instead.
Why Was CSGO Removed From the Steam Store?
If you ask me, the answer is pretty clear. Valve probably does not want to risk dividing its gaming population between two CS games. Counter-Strike: Source was never entirely accepted by the masses; in retrospect, it also took a long while until CSGO took off. Look at the three charts below, and then I will briefly discuss them. Then you’ll realize why there is a high risk that many players can’t let go of the past.
In January 2013, we have witnessed peaks for BOTH Counter-Strike and Counter-Strike: Source. At that moment, the recorded peak player counts were:
- Counter-Strike with 65188 players
- Counter-Strike: Source with 48458 players
- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with 31359 players
Despite being 5 years younger, CSS just couldn’t become more popular than its older brother. And mind you, this is just Steam. I cannot count unofficial “no-steam” CS 1.6 copies, which there is a plethora of. As for CSGO, the youngest sibling at the time (6 months old), no significant traction happened, and the player count took a long while before surpassing the two more senior games.
But hey, CS2 came with some incredible QoL changes. Here’s how to refund purchases in CS2.