Why Gamers Think NVIDIA Just Leaked A Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Sequel

cs go terrorist
It doesn't pull the numbers that console-focused titles like Call of Duty can, but Counter-Strike is one of the most popular PC games of all time. It remains so to this day, consistently sitting near the top of the Steam player count charts. Popular games get sequels, right? Well, not yet at least—eleven years on from the original release of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, gamers are still playing fundamentally the same game.

There might just be a sequel on the way, though. Sharp-eyed folks on Reddit noticed that the latest NVIDIA driver includes an application-specific profile for "Counter-strike 2" with executable names "csgos2.exe" and "cs2.exe". The profile doesn't contain any interesting settings—just some bits to make it work nicely with NVIDIA's Optimus GPU-switching tech for notebooks—but the existence of the profile itself is fascinating.

reddit screenshot counter strike 2
Credit to /u/DAOWAce on Reddit for the spot.

There have been rumors swirling for years that Valve had designs to port the game as it is to the Source 2 engine. Source 2, as the name implies, is the successor to the original Source engine that launched with Half-Life 2 back in 2004. It's undergone plenty of changes since then, and the version used in CS:GO (as well as Portal 2) is pretty different from the original recipe from 2004.

Even still, the original Source engine is relatively old and simplistic compared to more modern game engines, and extending it is probably difficult at this point. There's a reason Valve bothered to port megahit Dota 2 to Source 2, and the engine has been used for a couple of releases since, including Valve's ill-fated card game Artifact as well as the fantastic Half-Life: Alyx and the charming Aperture Desk Job.

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Despite its age, CS:GO really isn't a bad-looking game, even today.

The existence of a profile in NVIDIA's driver ultimately means very little; NVIDIA "leaked" the existence of Titanfall 3 and Crysis 4 in the past, neither of which has come to pass (although rumor has it that Titanfall 3 was reworked into the super-popular Apex Legends.) However, many other games "leaked" by NVIDIA have indeed made their way to PC, like God of War, Final Fantasy 7 Remake, Dragon's Dogma 2, and Uncharted.

In the end, it wouldn't really surprise us that much if Valve decided to "re-launch" CS:GO in revamped form on the Source 2 engine. As we noted above, the original game is quite dated at this point—modern hardware can pull nearly a thousand frames per second, even in high resolutions—and yet, it's still very popular. Valve hasn't announced anything yet, though, so all we can do is wait.