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Could CS: Global Offensive Have A Free-To-Play Demo Trial, On All Platforms?

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The last time Valve ever released a demo for one of their games was way back in 2009, for Left 4 Dead 2. One year earlier, they had brought Portal 1 to the XBox Live Arcade as “Portal: Still Alive”, and as all XBLA releases require that a demo trial be offered alongside the actual game, they had been forced to release a free trial for it (not all XBLA trials are time-limited, though).

Since CS:GO will be a download-exclusive game, one could only assume that this would also be the case for its XBox 360 version. However, some code found within the CS:GO beta seems to imply that its free trial won’t be limited to the XBLA, and it also seems to confirm that CS:GO will be a paid release.

Could CS: Global Offensive Have A Free-To-Play Demo Trial, On All Platforms?

Steam Forum poster En Ex created a thread summarizing his discoveries within the CS:GO beta files. By examining the “sfui_english.txt” file found in “csgoresource”, he found some very interesting bits of code:

        “SFUI_Upsell_Upsell_Bullets”   “<ul><li>New maps!<li>New modes!<li>New weapons!</ul>”
        “SFUI_Upsell_Nav”   “${west} Unlock Full Game     ${confirm} Quit     ${cancel} Back to Game”
        “SFUI_Upsell_Nav”   ” [$WIN32||$OSX]
        “SFUI_Medals_Earned_Text”     “Achievements unlocked with purchase: ”
        “SFUI_Medals_Earned_Count”    “%d / %d”

        “SFUI_GameModeProgressDisclaimer”      “No stats tracking.” [$WIN32||$X360]
        “SFUI_GameModeProgressDisclaimer”      “No stats tracking.” [$PS3]
        “SFUI_TrialTimeRemaining”   “Trial mode (%s1:%s2 remaining)”
        “SFUI_TrialTimeExpired”    “Trial mode expired”
        “SFUI_TrialWelcomeTitle”  “Trial Mode”
        “SFUI_TrialWelcomeMessage”  “Welcome to the Counter Strike game trial. All game features are unlocked for the duration of the trial period”
        “SFUI_TrialWelcomeMessageExpired”  “The Counter Strike game trial period has expired”
        “SFUI_TrialHudTextMinutes”   “Trial Active (%s1 minutes left)”
        “SFUI_TrialHudTextMinute”   “Trial Active (1 minute left)”

        “SFUI_TrialSignOutTitle”   “Trial Signed In Profile”
        “SFUI_TrialSignOutMsg”    “A signed in profile is required for trial mode”

        “SFUI_TrialMUPullTitle”    “Trial Profile Storage”
        “SFUI_TrialMUPullMsg”     “Trial mode requires a writable signed in profile”
        “SFUI_GameUI_ProfileDataLoadFailedTrialMsg” “There was an error loading the title data.  Trial mode requires valid title data”

        “SFUI_GameUI_ArcadeNotUnlockedTitle”  “Purchase the Full Game!”
        “SFUI_GameUI_ArcadeNotUnlocked”  “You must purchase the full game in order to access this feature!”

Now, the thing about this code is that there are quite a few references to the PC, the Mac, and even the PS3; which strongly implies that CS:GO’s free trial mode might not be restricted to the XBLA. It might be released across all platforms, which would make it the first time Valve has ever released a demo for a multiplayer game. It appears that the free trial’s available time won’t be that long – since they measure it in minutes, as opposed to hours. It also seems as though the trial includes all of CS:GO’s features (except for the so-called “Arcade”, whatever that might be), but interestingly, when prompted to purchase the full game, you are shown “new maps”; “new modes”; and “new weapons”. No idea if they’re simply supposed to be DLC or something. Still, there’s plenty of room for interpretation when it comes to this code, so we might just be mistaken. It sounds like a good idea, though, so I’m hoping we’re right on the money.

And as previously mentioned, this pretty much confirms that CS:GO will be a paid game, even if the trial will be XBLA-exclusive. Which is good! As TF2 has demonstrated, going F2P can have some negative effects regarding… well, cheating. It wouldn’t be that big an issue if it weren’t for the fact that… well, let’s just say it might be time for a VAC4 or something. And I ain’t even kidding – Valve can reveal Source 2… or even goddamned PowerPlay 2 at this E3, and I’m still going to be complaining about how VAC3 isn’t doing its job properly, during the very moment the lights go out during the keynote.


  1. counter strike is my favourite game , and trail 12 is my favourite mod on counter strike .

  2. Valve won’t reveal “Source 2” at E3. Why would you think something so ridiculous?

  3. As said above its most likely for the 360 version as all XBLA titles require a demo.

    Maybe they’ll do it for the Ps3 version too, but that’s Valves choice.

    Could it possibly be to do with Free Weekends Trails on Steam too?

  4. Whoa I’m really looking forward to this, but I wonder if LAN would be available in this trial? I can’t really play online with my horrible internet and I’d rather play with my brother, couple of friends, and a bunch of bots.
    Also, have they brought back cs_militia and cs_assasult or planning on to?
    I used to love those maps.

  5. It couldn’t be on the platforms, cause Valve said that they (correct me if I’m wrong) canceled cross-platform gaming for CS:GO

  6. Wrong, last time Valve launched a demo was fo L4D2.

    • Ooh, well noticed – it is now corrected.

      • Commenter Avatartyler james trentApril 5th 2012 at 3:10am

        hey vic I noticed that you respond to nearly every comment. Are you an admin,or a person that I view as a very Noth like person (the person who made minecraft)?

        • Vic writes the damn articles on this site… the only difference between him and notch is that Vic hasn’t made a derpy digital virtual Lego game… AND Vic is about 3 times thinner than notch, and looks cool WITHOUT a beard. (unlike notch)

          • Cheers for the really awesome words Lev! Yes – I am the site’s only writer at the moment. We’ll be bringing in some more writers shortly, but I’ll still be writing and commenting like mad.

        • Vic is the lead editor/writer/creator of awesome articles, without him my site would be an utter shambles and would have likely died out months ago. We are currently selecting some new writers as well as working on a site redevelopment for the summer, including a greater emphasis on tutorials and user created content. You can always rely on Vic for some top quality news writing 🙂

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