Portal 2 to release early, with ARG's help

Valve is letting users earn early access to Portal 2, but nothing in life comes free. First, they need to band together to restart GlaDOS, by playing Potato Sack games.

37

Valve's alternate reality game (ARG) countdown clock has reached its apex, and revealed that the rumors are true: you can play Portal 2 before its set release date, but nothing in life comes free. The new GlaDOS@Home page promises an early launch of the game, if players generate enough computing power to restart GlaDOS. How? By playing the indie games from the Potato Sack bundle, of course.

So is this shameless marketing for a sale in the Steam store? Maybe a bit. But we have to hand it to Valve for being clever, and early access to Portal 2 is sure to attract some attention from fans. The progress bars are starting to inch towards completion and it's only been active for a few minutes, so maybe PC players will be able to start having fun with science soon.

PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 players, on the other hand, will probably still have to wait until its official street date on April 19.

Editor-In-Chief
Filed Under
From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 15, 2011 9:20 AM

    Comment on Portal 2 to release early, with ARG's help, by Steve Watts.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 9:26 AM

      Summary: Valve is letting users earn early access to Portal 2, but nothing in life comes free. First, they need to band together to restart GlaDOS, by playing Potato Sack games.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 9:31 AM

      Even if I don't buy the potato sack, and it does end up unlocking early, I can still play it early right?

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 10:09 AM

      Seems I actually have a game on the list. Time to do my part!

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 10:23 AM

      Clever girl...

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 10:24 AM

      Makes me a little sad about going the PS3 route, but I'll survive.

      I do already own several of the potato-sack games. An early Steam unlock wouldn't help me, but I'm curious about seeing any actual new content in those games, especially if it's temporary. Is there a good summary somewhere of what's been added? The ARG wiki seems to be dead.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 10:28 AM

        You can probably find an independent retailer to break street date earlier than it'll unlock on steam.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 10:31 AM

      I'll give them credit. That's pretty damn clever.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 11:08 AM

      [deleted]

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 11:17 AM

        So far it's gone down by about 10 minutes.

        • Zek legacy 10 years
          reply
          April 15, 2011 12:08 PM

          The countdown isn't changing, the game will be released when the bar above it reaches full.

        • reply
          April 15, 2011 2:08 PM

          No it hasn't; the countdown is still exactly on track for 10am EDT Tuesday

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 11:29 AM

      That's sad for PS and 360 players, but they should realize that a FPS should be played on a fucking PC in the first place.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 11:50 AM

        Should they?

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 12:20 PM

        People have PS3 and 360 copies already. I'm gonna try to have a PS3 copy this afternoon. I'm not so sure why you feel bad for them when some will be playing it all weekend.

        • reply
          April 15, 2011 12:34 PM

          but what if you dont know a sneaky place to get games early =O

        • reply
          April 15, 2011 12:40 PM

          Controllers dude.. controllers.. :(

          • reply
            April 15, 2011 12:43 PM

            Very small price to pay for getting to play it early. I'll play it again on PC soon enough. Lord knows I've played through every other Valve single player game numerous times.

          • reply
            April 15, 2011 4:33 PM

            I haven't played it in a while but my recollection of portal was that there were quite a few areas where you needed twitch control to replace portals mid jumps, i don't see how this can be possible on a controller?

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 12:44 PM

        [deleted]

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 4:46 PM

        [deleted]

      • reply
        April 17, 2011 4:03 PM

        MFW he thinks Portal is an FPS.

        That's just adorable.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 11:45 AM

      You guys should probably mention getting potatoes is also extremely helpful. Quoted from a source community site:

      In case anyone doesn't currently understand the system: CPU's are indications of how many people are currently playing the potato pack games, per game. Whereas the number of potatoes acts as a multiplier for that cpu count.

      So even if you do not own all the games, be sure to get as many potatoes as you can!

      Here is a list of the required actions needed to obtain the potatoes in each game: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id ... KUfE&pli=1


      Lastly joining this group will automatically grants you a FREE potato. It seems odd I know, but apparently it has some meaning with the ARG. UPDATE: The user who created this group has some portal 2 images on his profile, from his current play-through, however they are masked with Portal 1 thumbnails. This now more or less explains it's involvement with the ARG.

      http://steamcommunity.com/groups/nelipot

      If you cannot login via the steam community site, just search for the community inside of Steam.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 11:57 AM

      repost

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 12:24 PM

      Defence Grid's additional levels are hilarious. Kudos to Valve for coming up with this stuff, - love it.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 1:36 PM

        [deleted]

        • reply
          April 15, 2011 4:33 PM

          Two additional levels added, both Portal related. Yes they can be challenging, but in line with the rest of the game. It's been really well done.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 2:28 PM

      If people actually buy the sack just hoping Portal 2 will release earlier I would laugh.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 2:29 PM

      I'm confused -- so far the countdown doesn't reflect the pace of the bar. I'm going to rerun some numbers on it.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 2:51 PM

      UNLOCK FASTER WITH THIS PRO TIP!

      buy me the potato sack

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 3:42 PM

        What a stupid idea.

        buy me the potato sack, I'm cooler

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 4:09 PM

        Sm me your address and I'll send you this 5 lbs of potatoes I just bought.

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 3:46 PM

      So does it just need to record people having played the game or is it counting concurrent players or what?

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 4:25 PM

        it's concurrent players.

        The red bars indicate what percentage of the total number of users that OWN that specific game are playing.

        • reply
          April 15, 2011 4:30 PM

          no way
          the bars are ever increasing
          they are running toward a completion, I just know it.

          • reply
            April 15, 2011 5:45 PM

            the irc chan for the arg says it's time played total by however many players

            suckier games are weighted to require less time (probably based on their typical play time compared to the other potato games)

        • reply
          April 15, 2011 6:34 PM

          theres no way, none of the bars have gotten gotten smaller, they are constantly getting larger

    • DM7 legacy 10 years
      reply
      April 15, 2011 4:30 PM

      At the rate it's going, it'll unlock on Tuesday. ;)

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 4:36 PM

        [deleted]

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 5:27 PM

        Cave Johnson!

        • reply
          April 15, 2011 11:58 PM

          Same here!

          Well, okay, I cheated by pressing back on the last question to see all the answers and picked the one I liked best. However, I feel that is a move Cave Johnson might have done himself.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 5:29 PM

        Chell !!

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 5:48 PM

        Your Aperture Science Cooperative Testing Type is:
        Weighted Companion Cube

        Stalwart and dependable, you're always willing to give a friend the shirt off your back, a shoulder to cry on, or a step up. Compatible cooperative test partners include shirtless people who can't stop crying while they use you as stairs.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 5:52 PM

        Lol. Love it.
        The first time I did it, I was GlaDOS.
        Second time with the exact same options to post my results, I get P-Body.

        Shenanigans, I say!

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 5:56 PM

        "Keep an eye out for cooperative test partners with low self esteem and body image issues."

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 6:44 PM

        I'll apparently be good to play co-op with any shacker, provided they shut up and listen!

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 6:46 PM

        Your Aperture Science Cooperative Testing Type is:
        Turret

        No nonsense and all business, you don't have time for anything not immediately in your field of vision. Look for cooperative test partners who don't mind telling you they're still there every five seconds, and test partners willing to solve tests while always standing in front of you.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 6:53 PM

        Weighted Companion Cube. Describes me perfectly, for better or worse.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 6:59 PM

        I got Glados :(

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 7:06 PM

        [deleted]

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 11:36 PM

        companion cube :(

        • reply
          April 16, 2011 2:41 AM

          Haha me too bead. I'm a shirtless step for people.

      • reply
        April 15, 2011 11:57 PM

        Turret

      • reply
        April 16, 2011 12:04 AM

        this is random as fuck

      • reply
        April 16, 2011 12:33 AM

        Glados. Hmmmmm.

      • ArB legacy 10 years
        reply
        April 16, 2011 2:18 AM

        ratman.

        I guess I'll be playing alone.

      • reply
        April 16, 2011 6:18 AM

        Wheatley

      • reply
        April 16, 2011 11:21 AM

        [deleted]

    • reply
      April 15, 2011 6:58 PM

      Anyone have an extra copy of Amnesia or Aaaaaah? http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheWilhelmScream/

    • reply
      April 16, 2011 6:19 AM

      well those potatoes games are all really fun glad i got them,

    • reply
      April 16, 2011 6:27 AM

      So it's done and they're not releasing it early to promote an indie game? I don't mind unless games begin to be release months after due becuase of marketing for another game. If Valve made Fighters Uncaged (sorry for the insult, can't think of another bad game right now) and were asked when the next Half Life episode will be released and replied in 10 years time but if 1,000,000,000 people buy fighters uncaged then I'll be pissed. I doubt anyone is stupid/crazy enough to do that anyway.

    • reply
      April 16, 2011 12:53 PM

      EVERYONE join this group to get a free potato: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/nelipot

    • reply
      April 16, 2011 2:35 PM

      Nice marketing by Steam. No way it's going to unlock any significant time before Tues. Maybe 5 minutes to midnight. Sucker born every minute...that's Steam's hope anyway.

      • reply
        April 17, 2011 11:50 PM

        Sucker?

        It's at least 30 hours of good to great, varied gameplay for $30.

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 10:25 AM

        Sucker born every minute? A ton of the Sack games are really quite fun. Damn it I hate deals on great games!

    • reply
      April 18, 2011 11:43 AM

      Have you noticed that the potatoes are beeing eating fast in the glados@home page?

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 11:45 AM

        And the background of that page says "Active test subjects: NINE" now, didn't it say none before?

      • reply
        April 18, 2011 12:41 PM

        "11:00 - Pre-release lethality assessment initiated..."

Hello, Meet Lola