The creator of one of the most popular maps in the history of Counter-Strike has confirmed through social networks that he regrets selling the rights to Valve. We are referring to Michael Hüll, known on social networks as BubkeZ. He is responsible for bringing Mirage to life. He created the map back in Version 1.6 where it was called “de_cpl_strike” and adapted it to Global Offensive for its official release in June 2013.
There’s a lot to unpack here. First of all, for users with less knowledge of how Counter-Strike works, it is important to understand that the game is developed hand in hand with the community. Valve does not create the skins or the new maps that are introduced into the game, but rather it is the players who carry out these designs and they publish them in the Workshop as if they were ‘mods’. If the community likes the map or cosmetic and the developer wants to officially add it to the game, an agreement is reached with its creator to acquire the rights to it.
All this is a legacy of the first versions of the video game, where the community constantly created and shared maps that became more popular than those designed by Valve. The developer then wanted to add them into the game and was not going to simply steal the work of the community members. Although the terms and conditions of service would have allowed it, they decided to pay quite generously for the additions. That is precisely what happened to BubkeZ with Mirage. However, it does not seem that he was very satisfied.
Through social networks, the creator of Mirage explained the following: “It’s been eleven years since I sold Mirage to Valve Software. If I had known back then how big Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or now Counter-Strike 2 would be, I would never have done it. They did a very good business, but they also made changes that I don’t like. Still, thank you Mirage!” said the creator of the map through social networks. The statements, of course, generated great interest in the community.
When Michael sold Mirage to Valve, Counter-Strike was peaking at 34,000 simultaneous users. This is a tiny amount compared to the 1.2 million peak users the title has recorded this February. Despite this, the creator of the map assures that it’s not about money. “They’ve made changes where the map plays in a way that wasn’t originally intended. If you compare it to the 1.6 version, it’s clearly noticeable in A and in the middle,” he explained.
Although Michael may not be happy with the direction the map has taken, the truth is that Mirage is one of the Counter-Strike community’s favorite stages having surpassed Dust 2 in popularity over the years. It is also the only map that has been present in all the Majors in history, this being the most important competition for Valve’s tactical shooter. As for Michael, things have also gone well for him: he made a career as a video game developer and works in Machinegames, the company in charge of the future video game of Indiana Jones.
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