The concurrent player count for Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has reached its highest peak since January 2017, following the addition of the new battle royale mode 'Danger Zone' - and going free-to-play.
Launched on December 6, Danger Zone is CS:GO's answer to Fortnite, PUBG and Blackout, as it attempts to steal back players who have migrated to the new battle royale phenomenon.
It still has all the signature aspects of Counter-Strike's gunplay and mechanics, but in a new innovative setting, and this combined with the move to become a free-to-play game has helped the player count soar.
The same day as it was released, CS:GO also shot up the rankings on Twitch for concurrent viewers too, which likely also attracted a new audience of potential players.
CS:GO's all time concurrent player count peak sits at 850,485, set in April of 2016, and it has only crossed the 800,000 mark once since, in January 2017.
Since then, the player count remained steady before seeing a slight decline through 2018, with most months seeing a peak of only 400,000-500,000, but on December 8, the player count shot up to 747, 896.
Traditionally, January is CS:GO's strongest month for player counts, meaning with such a strong start to December, there is hopes that a new peak record could be set.
Although the move to becoming a free-to-play game is certainly a major factor, this is still a remarkable achievement for a game which will soon turn six years old - with the Counter-Strike franchise almost two decades old.
Danger Zone is still a little rough around the edges, at least compared to other top BR games, but with some improvements could certainly be a tempting alternative for players who are tiring of their current go-to battle royale.
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