Counter-Strike at 20: A Game Changer for Gamers

The release of Counter-Strike two decades ago forever changed the way we game.
Rebecca Warren
A Gamer playing Counter-Strike on PCSource: EvgeniyShkolenko/iStock

It’s been two decades since Counter-Strike debuted and forever changed the gaming landscape. In 1999, the most popular games were those that afforded players the opportunity to blow lots of stuff of quickly, play with outrageous weaponry, and generally run amok in virtual worlds. Counter-Strike changed all that with its focus on reality instead of fantasy.


Open source sparks creativity

Quake is often cited as the genesis of everything awesome about modern gaming. The creators of Counter-Strike used the advances in technology that allowed for Quake and Half-Life to gain such fervent fans Minh Le and Jess Cliffe, the originators of Counter-Strike were college students when Quake was all the rage. Le had a keen interest in special forces operations and preferred that environment to the alien technology that populated the world of Half Life. His military interest helped spark the most unique thing about Counter-Strike: it was a game about reacting to threats, not being one.  

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Team Counter Strike: Global Brink Fortress 2
Team Counter Strike: Global Brink Fortress 2 Source:BagoGames/Flickr

 An industry game changer

In the 20 years since Counter-Strike’s debut, much has changed in both the real and virtual worlds. But it is Le and Cliffe’s legacy of thinking outside the box and a dedication to providing software iterations for fans to enjoy are what created the lasting appeal of Counter-Strike.

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