Valve ARG Gives Fans Power to Release Portal 2 Early

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Valve ARG Gives Fans Power to Release Portal 2 Early

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Valve has revealed how you can help GLaDOS and Portal 2 see an early release on Steam.

GLaDOS's countdown for the Portal 2 ARG's "final test" has revealed that fans now have the power to help the game get released early on Steam. Playing the 13 games from the Steam Potato Sack bundle will eventually provide enough "computing power" to make it happen.

The countdown website now shows visitors a message from GLaDOS, starting off with a nearly heartbreaking April Fools joke. That's GLaDOS for you. She then says she needs "raw computational power" to "speed up the reboot process." This could mean that people have to complete the secret objectives and Portal-themed levels added to the Potato Sack games to secure the early release of Portal 2. *Update* Apparently, the games just need to be played.

After the message plays, the website redirects visitors here, where it shows the specific amount of "power" needed for Portal 2 to come out early and how many CPUs are currently helping out for each Potato Sack game. A timer reveals the projected launch for Portal 2 in hours, while a counter shows how many "potatoes" have been collected during the ARG. If you're confused, read this.

While this appears to be part money grab, I think it's one that rewards fans handsomely. Anyone into the Portal mythos should enjoy the content added to the Potato Sack, which in certain cases such as Amnesia: The Dark Descent's is quite significant. Even if the game isn't released early, the Portal 2 ARG has been a fun ride, and an amazingly clever way to market a game.

Source: [email protected]

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Very clever way of saying "buy this to be able to buy that early".
Still, it's allot better then most marketing campaigns.

The Steam forums are bursting with rage, it's too funny.
People are angry that they didn't get handed the game early for nothing, seemingly forgetting that it's not supposed to be out until Tuesday.

Biscuit:
The Steam forums are bursting with rage, it's too funny.
People are angry that they didn't get handed the game early for nothing, seemingly forgetting that it's not supposed to be out until Tuesday.

Pretty much, I'd be all right if there was a genuine reason to be angry, but there's not. They're using a collection of products all of which have been promoted for the last couple of weeks to promote another product.

..What in fuck is wrong with that?

knowing valve, they will just release it early eventually.

But what i want to know is, it says "current" CPU's does this mean we have to play them at the same time or just over a period of time?

so it was delayed then released early, so now its less delayed.

What I'd like to know is, does that mean it's released in the shops early too? I don't want to miss out...

Does anyone else see the irony that GLaDOS is being powered by Potatoes? Its like grade school science fair all over again.

It may not be released early, but holy crap what a fun marketing tactic.

Buy The Potato Sack! GLaDOS needs the power!
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CakeDragon:
What I'd like to know is, does that mean it's released in the shops early too? I don't want to miss out...

No, it's just the Steam version that would get unlocked early. They can't just take tens of thousands of disks and ship them early at this point.

Jonci:

CakeDragon:
What I'd like to know is, does that mean it's released in the shops early too? I don't want to miss out...

No, it's just the Steam version that would get unlocked early. They can't just take tens of thousands of disks and ship them early at this point.

Usually the shops receive the games a few days in advance so they can put them on the shelves in time for release. Just wondered if, say, the shops already have Portal 2, that they'd put them out according to Steam's release... I can live in hope :P

I think the original ARG marketing Portal 2 in the first place (with the radios and whatnot added to the first one) was a little better done than this. From the looks of the current potato count and the RAEG on the Steam forums, we're set for an on-schedule release.

Valve, you magnificent bastards.

This is a win/win, really. Indie developers get support, gamers could get Portal 2 a bit early, Valve gets tremendous publicity, and if you don't want to buy the games, you don't need to put in the effort. If you do, you get creative, quirky indie games for a low price.

CakeDragon:

Jonci:

CakeDragon:
What I'd like to know is, does that mean it's released in the shops early too? I don't want to miss out...

No, it's just the Steam version that would get unlocked early. They can't just take tens of thousands of disks and ship them early at this point.

Usually the shops receive the games a few days in advance so they can put them on the shelves in time for release. Just wondered if, say, the shops already have Portal 2, that they'd put them out according to Steam's release... I can live in hope :P

Then there's the issue of manpower. Those stores have to schedule their employees to handle the volume of customers coming in for big title releases.

Running Super Meat Boy and AaAaAA!!! - A Reckless Disregard for Gravity simultaneously as we speak. I initially wanted to strangle Gabe, but then I realized this'll give pc gamers a head start over the others, so I guess it works.

Have they cleared up what it is users need to actually do?
Own the game? Just have it installed? Play it? Complete the special Portal-themed challenges?
This whole thing is far too vague.

Well, the "Justine" add on for "Amnesia" was pretty awesome, I went and loaded up Amnesia to check that out (despite mixed opinions of the game itself). Got a little frustrated with it, but I'll probably give it another shot before too long if they don't take it down.

That said, while I think "Portal" is cool, I'm not a huge fan (have a free copy on Steam I've never played since I haven't been in the mood to re-tread that kind of thing). I'll wind up getting "Portal 2" at some point when the price drops doubtlessly, but I can't bring myself to get all that excited.

What's more the promotion might be interesting, but in the end there was a fairly hefty price of admission if you just bought "The Potato Sack" for this. I checked out "Justine" because as a horror fan people raved about "Amnesia" so I bought it, despite being quickly underwhelmed.

The people who created those indie games will be dancing with joy right now...

Also, I hope this gets some more support for genuine distributed computing projects. I think more people need to take part in them.

Jonci:

CakeDragon:

Jonci:

No, it's just the Steam version that would get unlocked early. They can't just take tens of thousands of disks and ship them early at this point.

Usually the shops receive the games a few days in advance so they can put them on the shelves in time for release. Just wondered if, say, the shops already have Portal 2, that they'd put them out according to Steam's release... I can live in hope :P

Then there's the issue of manpower. Those stores have to schedule their employees to handle the volume of customers coming in for big title releases.

Ah yes, that is quite true.
Well, I think I can wait an extra couple of days. Worth it for two copies I guess...

Of course people will be angry with this tactic. I'm assuming most will either think "cool" or be neutral, but we gamers seem to have some entitlement issues. Of course Valve wants you to buy their products, it's business. I think this is a very cleaver way of doing it that hurts no-one.

I for one, support our new potato overlords.

I got a question.
Does this also work if you buy the game loose from the potato sack?
I would like to play the Portal level from ball but don,t want to buy the sack.

Braedan:
Of course people will be angry with this tactic. I'm assuming most will either think "cool" or be neutral, but we gamers seem to have some entitlement issues. Of course Valve wants you to buy their products, it's business. I think this is a very cleaver way of doing it that hurts no-one.

I for one, support our new potato overlords.

also it,s a great commercial for indie developers

Haters gonna hate.
I like this marketing, an valve is great for it. Long live Valve!!!

I think this is just brilliant.

While it is a bit frustrating to have the carrot dangled a bit longer, it is for a good cause. Not only is it going to launch Portal 2 early. But, it also gives some face time to some great indie developers that weren't as well known two weeks ago.

henritje:
I got a question.
Does this also work if you buy the game loose from the potato sack?
I would like to play the Portal level from ball but don,t want to buy the sack.

The sack is totally worth the money. Trust me.

henritje:

Braedan:
Of course people will be angry with this tactic. I'm assuming most will either think "cool" or be neutral, but we gamers seem to have some entitlement issues. Of course Valve wants you to buy their products, it's business. I think this is a very cleaver way of doing it that hurts no-one.

I for one, support our new potato overlords.

also it,s a great commercial for indie developers

Agreed, More power to the sector that gives us the most innovation.

Biscuit:
The Steam forums are bursting with rage, it's too funny.
People are angry that they didn't get handed the game early for nothing, seemingly forgetting that it's not supposed to be out until Tuesday.

Yeah, it doesn't make any sense.

"We made an assumption based on a rumor that had no real proof behind it that the game will come out early! But to the surprise of no one, the rumor turned out to be incorrect and we might have to wait until the normal release day to play! HOW DARE YOU DO THAT VALVE!"

Really? You guys are the ones who bought into the rumors. I don't recall Valve ever saying the game would come out today.

henritje:
I got a question.
Does this also work if you buy the game loose from the potato sack?
I would like to play the Portal level from ball but don,t want to buy the sack.

You do not have to buy the Potato sack deal to obtain the special portal content. Nor do you need the deal to take part in the CPU donation. Give! All for our Potato powered GlaDOS

I don't like this. It's an attempt to take money from those who NEED THEIR FIX of Valve games so much that they'll buy things that they would never purchase before. You could say that's good, but I prefer to think of it as teasing. They're offering you a chance to get a game released early which IS COMING OUT ANYWAY.

How many of you would have actually bought these games without this incentive? If this was EA saying ME3 will be released sooner if you buy Dragon Age or Battlefield stuff you'd go mental.

henritje:
I got a question.
Does this also work if you buy the game loose from the potato sack?
I would like to play the Portal level from ball but don,t want to buy the sack.

The numbers in the count are the live number of players playing the games, so I would imagine that you can join in regardless (that's what I'm trying, anyway).

Also folks, you can get a potato for free by joining this steam group. Since I don't quite know what counts towards the setup, I figure might as well go for both.

John Funk:
Valve, you magnificent bastards.

This is a win/win, really. Indie developers get support, gamers could get Portal 2 a bit early, Valve gets tremendous publicity, and if you don't want to buy the games, you don't need to put in the effort. If you do, you get creative, quirky indie games for a low price.

This pretty much, although they are getting a bit TOO pushy with the potato pack.

henritje:
I got a question.
Does this also work if you buy the game loose from the potato sack?
I would like to play the Portal level from ball but don,t want to buy the sack.

I am guessing it does work, since I loaded up audiosurf before going to work, and had Glados choose my song for me (it was random, but happened the first time, not subsequent times however). I don't have the potato sack, just a few games from it.

... yeah and i left Audiosurf on when I left, hopefully that'll help... somehow.

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