Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has launched in China, with Chinese publisher Perfect World releasing a special version of CS:GO in collaboration with developers Valve.
The changes are slight, with cosmetic changes removing several symbols in the game that rule the game out for sale in China. That, and every user who verifies their identity with publisher Perfect World can play CS:GO for free.
A launch in the region also means low-latency in game servers and Prime matchmaking status, giving it a clear advantage on playing the game via a VPN or pirated copies.
Players playing during the game’s Chinese launch month will get a promotional gift bundle, including two stickers from CS:GO Perfect World sticker capsules and a graffiti from the CS:GO Perfect World graffiti capsule. These stickers and graffiti bundles will be available to everyone for purchase after the launch month, but for now they’re exclusive to Perfect World players.
The Chinese playerbase is likely to grow out the game’s audience by a significant chunk, which is good money for Valve and Perfect World, but also a strong in-road to a competitive CS:GO scene in China.