“Where can I play Counter-Strike: Global Offensive?” asks the innocently poised question on Valve’s FAQ page. The answer? “CS:GO is currently available on PS3, Xbox 360, PC and Mac.” It’s accurate, unless, of course, you’re based in Europe, in which case it’s not available on PlayStation 3.
And it’s five weeks late.
On other formats, including Sony’s main competitor the Xbox 360, Counter-Strike is available around the world. And frustratingly, it’s available on PlayStation 3 outside of Europe – if you’ve got a SCEA account you can download and play it right now, and have been able to do so since launch.
The game came out on the 21st of August (and by all accounts it’s pretty good) – that’s a fair chunk of time for European PS3 owners to get worked up about the delay, and they have: each week, when the PSN Store Update post rolls around and CS:GO isn’t on there, fans are understandably upset.
A week or two we can understand though – the game needs to be filtered through SCEE’s multiple language, multiple departmental structure. But when we picked up on a European (official) tweet that was knocked back by SCEE’s Fred Dutton it’s clear the game has had a few issues.
But five weeks?[drop2]Is this a certification thing? Is there a bug that the SCEE process picked up that the SCEA counterparts didn’t? Possibly.
But what’s frustrating PS3 owners the most is the lack of transparency from those that write and comment on the official PlayStation Blogs.
It seems like those that can comment are hamstrung, either by a lack of information themselves or some hidden corporate red tape held in place by SCEE higher-ups or Valve themselves.
“Sorry, again I have nothing to say on it still,” apologised SCEE’s Jawad Ashraf on the blog last week after another no-show. It’s a familar, albeit rather sad, message.
“I’ve no new information to share today,” echoed the team’s Andy Stewart a few weeks back.
And now, should it even arrive this week, it’s up against the behemoth that is Borderlands 2, a first person shooter that did come out on time, digitally too. Has this affected potential sales of Valve’s team-based FPS? It almost certainly has.
But whose responsibility is all this? If it’s a Valve bug, why did it get through SCEA cert so flawlessy and not the European testers? If it’s a language issue, why is it available on Xbox 360 in Europe (complete with multiple languages).
These things rarely offer total parity (and we shouldn’t really expect them to) but this one – clouded in secrecy and no comments – seems somewhat worse than most.
All eyes on a release this week, then.