Valve has announced a new game in the Counter-Strike series, called Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Set for release early 2012, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is being developed for PC, Mac, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360s and will apparently see digital-only distribution on all those platforms according to the press release.

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive will feature new maps, characters and weapons, according to the press release. It will deliver updated versions of classic Counter-Strike content too, such as de_dust, as well as new features such as leaderboards and matchmaking.

No plans for monetising the game have been announced, leading us to speculate that Global Offensive may continue Valve's push into the free-to-play market. Our expectation? Hats.

'Counter-Strike took the gaming industry by surprise when the unlikely MOD became the most played online PC action game in the world almost immediately after its release in August 1999,' said Doug Lombard, VP of Marketing at Valve.

'For the past 12 years, it has continued to be one of the most-played games in the world, headline competitive gaming tournaments and selling over 25 million units worldwide across the franchise. CS: GO promises to expand on CS' award-winning gameplay and deliver it to gamers on the PC as well as the next gen consoles and the Mac.'

As it turns out, you can read more about some of that classic Counter-Strike content in the issue 97 of Custom PC magazine, which is heading to shelves everywhere as we speak.

We'll be catching up with Valve at GamesCom 2011 next week, so we'll be sure to talk to them about Counter-Strike: Global Offensive then.

Valve has confirmed that it will be co-developing the title with Seattle-based Hidden Path Entertainment.

Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Check our GamesCom 2011 news hub for all the information from Cologne this year.

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