Counter-Strike Wiki

This article is about the game designer. For the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive character, see Booth.

Michael Booth, or sometimes simply Mike, is a programmer and a game designer, notable for being the original creator of the official Counter-Strike bot. He has also contributed to the development of Counter-Strike (Xbox), Counter-Strike: Condition Zero, Counter-Strike: Source and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.


Michael Booth grew up playing a variety of video games including the original Pong and various games at arcades.[1] He eventually learned to program smaller games when the purchased the Commodore VIC-20 home computer and gradually moved on to newer systems.[1]

Before Booth entered the video games industry, he was working in the real-time simulation industry where his responsibilities included artificial intelligence programming.[1] Soon he began development on the game Nox as a personal project and co-founded his first company Hyperion Technologies to help fund the development of the game.[1][2] After finishing a demo of the game, Booth took it to Game Developers Conference. Impressed with the demo, Westwood Studios decided to acquire the title and the Nox team, thus Mike had made his break into the games industry.[1]

Electronic Arts (EA) eventually acquired Westwood Studios. It was during this time that Booth became acquainted with Chris Ashton and Ido Magal who were working at the same studio at the time.[2] Booth was also introduced to Counter-Strike by some friends and he became completely addicted to the game.[3]

In early 2002, Mike Booth decided to leave EA and founded his own company Turtle Rock Studios in March 2002.[2][4] Ashton and Magal, both of whom were working at Valve Software at the time, told Booth about the upcoming Steam distribution platform encouraged him to get in contact with Valve to get his future games published.[2][5]

Booth got excited by Steam and Valve as a game company and thus it became the first company he contacted.[3] While various projects were discussed, his previous experience with artificial intelligence and his addiction to Counter-Strike lead to him being given the task of developing the Counter-Strike bot.[2]

Eventually, Booth was handed the task of redesigning Counter-Strike: Condition Zero and he had to find an office and hire employees for his company Turtle Rock Studios.[2] Booth would also contribute to the development of Counter-Strike: Source when Turtle Rock Studios was given the task of assisting in development of the title.

Turtle Rock Studios was acquired by Valve in January 2008 and became Valve South.[6][7] Following the release of Left 4 Dead, Valve and Valve South agreed to part ways due to various internal issues and Turtle Rock Studios was refounded in December 2008.[5][8] However, Michael Booth decided that he needed a break from running a studio and would not get involved with the reformed Turtle Rock Studios, opting to stay at Valve instead.[5] During this time, he contributed to the development of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

In May 2013, Booth left Valve to work as game director at Blizzard Entertainment.[9] He eventually left Blizzard to head the Social VR team of Facebook.[10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Aihoshi, Richard (2000-05-27). "Nox Developer Profile: Michael Booth". RPG Vault. Archived from the originalon 2000-07-11. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Callaham, John (2003-10-17). "CS: Condition Zero-Turtle Rock Studios Interview". HomeLan Fed. Archived from the original on 2004-04-22. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Callaham, John (2003-04-17). "Official Counter-Strike Bot Interview". HomeLan Fed. Archived from the original on 2003-04-26. Retrieved 2017-05-26.
  4. Turtle Rock Studios (2003). "About". Turtle Rock Studios. Archived from the original on 2003-04-24. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Hanson, Ben (2014-01-31). "Life After Death: The Story Of Turtle Rock Studios". GameInformer on YouTube.
  6. Valve Software (2008-01-10). "Valve Acquires Turtle Rock Studios". Valve. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  7. Remo, Chris (2009-06-03). "E3: Valve's Lombardi On What Happened To Turtle Rock". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  8. Robb, Phil. "Phil Robb's Profile". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  9. Peel, Jeremy (2014-04-07). "Overwatch: is this the game Blizzard have Left 4 Dead's lead designer working on?". PCGamesN. Retrieved 2017-05-30.
  10. Novet, Jordan (2016-02-23). "New Facebook team to focus on social VR". The dotLaunch Blog. Retrieved 2017-05-30.