Coming from TF2 and into CSGO, this question has been jarring me a lot. A couple months ago the Operation Wildfire pass went live, bringing some new maps into Valve’s most successful shooter and letting everyone enjoy the work of several community mapmakers. While only Cruise really left a lasting impact on me personally, I still appreciate new content, but it did cause me to wonder what was going to happen to the maps once the Operation ends in a week. So I checked it out and learned that Valve traditionally deletes all the maps from an Operation once it’s over. You can play them from the Workshop, like any other custom map, but they’re gone from the default map groups. This applies to missions as well; special objective-based maps that reward skins on completion. The co-op missions that I praised so highly and hoped that Valve would expand on? They’re totally going to do the opposite come June.
I genuinely don’t understand why they’ve made a tradition out of cutting content. Look at all these maps! If they’d stayed in the game, they would only increase the amount of content for players. I tested a few with interesting names by loading them up via console, and I really liked a few. Look at TF2; it’s had loads of community maps added to the game, I can’t even imagine how annoyed I’d be if they were removed at the end of some period of time. If these maps got the Valve seal of approval to enter the game, then they’re presumably good enough to stay.
Those co-op games are really cool, and I think it’s unfair that Valve’s not letting future players (or current ones who haven’t bought the pass) play them. If the maps had their bonuses and skin drops and whatever removed at the end of a pass and then were released for free, that’d be fine, it just seems unfair to permanently delete content people paid 6 bucks for. Of course, I’m personally also locked behind a “friend wall” because you literally cannot play Wildfire co-op missions unless you get someone on your friends list to play with you. No solo, no online matchmaking, no ability to join a random anonymous server. I don’t know if they think everybody’s got friends or something, but I’m always offline because I don’t really want to be bugged by people messaging me 24/7 and I don’t know many people who bought the pass anyway, so its made me regret buying the pass more than I already do. Just a personal gripe, Valve, let me roll the dice and play with some random person online.
Back on topic. I asked the subreddit and the only response I got was “the only reason operation maps are put in is to ‘showcase’ community work. Because Valve is incredibly cheap; they can’t use the maps past the operation time without having to pay out royalties to the map creators, or face crucifixion by the court of public opinion.” I have no idea if this is true; it’s certainly not how TF2 does it. But its also the first explanation that’d actually justify nuking free content. Either way, it’s just silly and I wish Valve would stop doing it. Most games would kill to have as many amazing community-contributed maps as CSGO gets.