A Counter-Strike 2 beta could be out as early as "this month"

(Image credit: Valve)

Rumor has it, there's a new Counter-Strike: Global Offensive game on the way.

Whilst whispers and speculation have been swimming around for several months now, this is possibly the most concrete hint yet that a Counter Strike 2 is just around the corner.

Along with noted CS leaker @gabefollower revealing that a couple of curious files have popped up in NVIDIA's latest drive update - one called cs2.exe and the other csgo2.exe; make of that what you will - we also have journalist Richard Lewis (opens in new tab) similarly reporting that "a new version of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive [is] on its way"... and it is "almost certainly set to be released under the working title of Counter-Strike 2" (thanks, Win.gg (opens in new tab)).

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As to when this may happen? Well, Lewis believes Lewis "the tentative release date for the beta is in this month of March with April 1 at the outside".

Gabefollower is keen that we temper our expectations, though.

"It won't be [a] new game, it won't be Counter-Strike 2, it won't be even a rebrand, just CS:GO Source 2. And your skins are fine, they will be available in a new version," gabefollower said. 

"I've got fairly reliable information that Valve has been testing CS:GO on Source 2 with the help of third-party QA companies in the US and EU since at least early December," gabefollower added. "I can't confirm this 100 per cent, but it's decent enough to share."

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive may be more than a decade old, but it's still one of the most popular games on Steam right now.

In fact, despite releasing over 11 years ago, it seems CS:GO has never been more popular; the shooter broke its own concurrent user record (opens in new tab) - the term given to the number of players logged into a game all at the same time - last month, and then again just two weeks later (opens in new tab)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, the record's just be broken again. According to SteamDB (opens in new tab), earlier today, CS:GO racked up a mind-boggling 1,378,447 concurrent players – the most the shooter has ever seen.

Steam records are usually broken at times when lots of us are off work or stuck at home, which means we often see these records broken during holiday periods or on weekends. However, it's very possible that the exciting news of a new CS:GO iteration has got people playing again, too.

Keep up to date with all the best games set to launch later this year with our guide to new games 2023 (opens in new tab)

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.