Valve have made a rare whoopsie and released the newest-most CS:GO update a day ahead of schedule. Though the patch was swiftly recalled via an emergency rope-and-pulley system, the internet has many eyes, and enough of them were able to compare notes to confirm that Counter-Strike players are getting paid-for access to top community maps hosted on official servers.
An uncovered data string suggests that Valve will curate a changing list of community maps, to be hosted on official CS servers. To access these servers, the strings suggest that players may be asked to buy a pass.
“[The pass] grants access to Season One’s featured community maps on Official Servers. Proceeds are divided among the featured map creators!”
Expect a system one step beyond TF2’s map-specific stamps. On Team Fortress 2’s Mann Co. Store, all proceeds go to community map creators. But Valve recently acknowledged that they could “definitely do more” to help out dedicated TF2 modders, and introduced new features to encourage monetary shows of support.
Valve launched the CS:GO Maps Workshop early this year. In the in-client Map Browser, you can browse, upvote the best, and ‘subscribe’ to updates for any submitted community map, much like you would in the TF2 Workshop. Tweaks made by map authors you’ve subscribed to will be automatically downloaded to your client.
Once settled on your hard drive, maps can be played via Quickmatch community servers, traversed in private matches in ‘Play with Friends’, or explored offline, with bots for company.
Workshop support on this scale has meant an indefinite lease of life for TF2.