Valve‘s upcoming first person puzzler, Portal 2, has been scheduled to release on April 19th in North America for the last few months. That launch date might change. And, instead of bringing news of a delay, Valve has given writers and fans a chance to see Portal 2 early.
And, stick with us here, the way that Valve has gone about making this possible is positively brilliant.
This past week, ApertureScience.com (the website behind the corporation heavily featured in the Portal universe) hosted a countdown the ticked towards Friday, April 15th. Once the countdown expired, “Portal 2 Systems” went offline. GLaDOS, the villainous computer from the original Portal, went into a reboot sequence that had her restarting on Tuesday the 19th, the official launch date of Portal 2.
However, as GLaDOS’ boot sequence indicates, the process can be sped up. How? By purchasing the Potato Sack of indie games and playing them.
Valve is keeping track of the time spent playing each independently developed game on GLaDOS’ reboot site. Once each game reaches the designated play time, Portal 2 will be unlocked for play over Steam.
The Potato Sack is a bundle of 13 indie games on steam. Currently, because of this Portal 2 event, the bundle is 75% off its original price and selling for roughly $35. 13 games for 35 bucks is a fantastic deal in itself. But, as users buy the sack and play the games, the community count for time spent piles into the Portal 2 pool and leads towards an early launch for fans everywhere.
You can see the current status of the Portal 2 unlock process right now at ApertureScience.com. As of writing this story, it looks like it’s going to take a lot of work to make this happen. But, you have to admit, this was a brilliant move by Valve. Players will support and, potentially, fall in love with indie games as they travel down the road to earning early access to Portal 2.