Portal 2 Pre-release Imminent? The Potatoes Are Counting Down


Posted April 18, 2011 - By Leah Jackson

Portal 2 Pre-release Imminent: The Potatoes Are Counting Down

Over the weekend frenzied Portal PC fantatics have been playing a variety of indie games to unlock potato badges and now the potatoes they've gathered are "lending power" to the imminent pre-release of Portal 2 according to the Aperture Science website. Over 450,000 potatoes have been collected and as of this writing there are 420,000 left and they're rapidly decreasing to accelerate Portal 2's pre-release. Just before 11:00 AM PST GLaDOS, the computer running the Aperture Science research facility released a new textual output:

10:50 - Engaging starch-based power cells
11:00 - Reboot safety test protocol initiated...
11:00 - Relaxation chamber locks released...
11:00 - Involuntary hazard mitigation associates have assumed testing positions...
11:00 - Pre-release lethality assessment initiated...

The only information regarding how quickly the potatoes will advance the release is that they're going at about 1000 potatoes for every 85 seconds which translates to around 10-11 hours until Portal 2 is released, that's at around 9:15 PM PST. Folks are now predicting that 450,000 was the number of Portal 2 pre-orders and that Valve is slowly unlocking all of them now but this is not confirmed. Read on for what other people are saying about the ARG Marketing campaign. Spoilers: A lot of people aren't very happy.

The problem is that while Valve did great by the few indie developers they chose to help out, by basically promising Portal 2 pre-release for PC gamers who played the games, they then come back and say they're not actually pre-releasing the game until a few hours before the actual release. Gamers had to pay almost  $35 to play all of the required Potato Sack games which is almost the price of Portal 2 itself, and this has quite a few community members upset.

One member of the community, Feep, said, "A good bit of data points to the conclusion that Valve has been manipulating the data, choosing their release window completely independently of gamers' actions. As much as we love potatoes and will probably cease caring once the game is out, this would be a bold-faced lie in the face of their fans and an extremely disappointing conclusion to what was an otherwise brilliantly run ARG."

Many loyal Valve fans at this point are seeing the ARG campaign as insulting. Releasing Portal 2 only a few hours early (if it will pre-release at all) after fans have poured their money and time in to the pre-release is very risky for Valve. If another company such as Activision were to pull a similar stunt it would be an absolute disaster.

We've reached out to Valve for a comment regarding the situation but haven't heard back. If we do, we'll be sure to give you the info.

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Portal 2 Pre-release Imminent? The Potatoes Are Counting Down


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