Counter Strike Operation Payback Saves Players Money, Rewards Its Mapmakers

Instead of paying for bits of the game that might have been originally shorn off, you’re rewarding the fans who keep adding on to it.

Seasons passes are becoming the norm, and the reasoning that big publishers use is certainly compelling, even sound to most; you get to save money up front for paying for all the upcoming DLC for a particular release.

Still, one can't help be a tad bit cynical nonetheless, that we're still paying for bits and pieces of a game that should have been in the base version to begin with, and perhaps prices have been skewed to allow a season pass system in the first place, to give the false perception that money is indeed being saved.

But Operation Payback, for Counter-Strike: Global Offense is a bit different. It's the first of a series of limited-time updates, the Counter-Strike blog explains, that is aimed at rewarding the game's players themselves, or a vital component: its most popular mapmakers.

For the asking price of $2.99 (which is normally $5.99), players will get unlimited access to the Classic Casual map group, which will feature top-voted community maps. One key selling point is how they're hosted on official dedicated servers, allowing for uninterrupted low-ping matches.

And the best part: friends can be invited to your Operation Payback sessions, even if they themselves don't have a pass. Oh, and your profile gets a unique coin that shows everyone that you were down for rewarding "CS:GO's top-rated virtual mapmakers with real money."

The blog details the seven maps that are being presented, along with the names of their creators, which is definitely a nice nod. It'll be interesting to see what else is done, and how else players who contribute with maps and the like are further celebrated and rewarded.

Many games have thrived because of their dedicated fan base, but Counter-Strike is near the top of that list.  Counter-Strike: Operation Payback end July 31st.