Glad Tidings: Portal Free Until Sep 20th

By Alec Meer on September 16th, 2011 at 10:00 am.

Free cake for everyone

Goodness, that happened with absolutely no fanfare. The original Portal, if you somehow don’t already own it, can now be installed and played for free via Steam. I’ve just checked it on a spare Steam account and it works just dandy. This is true of both the PC and the Mac version, by the way. If you’re determined to pay money for it, you can still cough up for The Orange Box or the Portal 1+2 package, but just Portal itself now defiantly costs no-pennies. Grab it from here.

Update: transpires that this is only available until September 20th, as part of a games and learning initiative from Valve. So get your skates on, yes? As long as you install the game before the expiry date, it’s yours to keep forever.

You can see more on Valve’s “Learn With Portals” program, wherein they’re encouraging kids to create Portal levels themselves, in the rather charming video below.

(Big thanks to all who mailed about this)


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  1. sakmidrai says:

    What am I supposed to do with the spare copy from Portal2 preorder now? Oh well.

  2. mrwonko says:

    It will be available until the 20th. This is part of a Learn with Portals program, apparently.

  3. Groove says:

    I love that Valve are doing this.


    The original Portal was/is my second favourite game ever, and with how free it is these days (it”s been made free twice this year if I remember right?) it’s moving to become more of a part of shared video game culture than it is a product that valve actually try to sell us.

    It’s interesting partially because consoles are moving in the oposite direction, letting you rebuy old games, again and again and again. I’m not against this! If someone wants to sell you a product they made then all power to them, but compared to what Valve are doing it seems more than a little mean spirited. Especially since resold console games are generally much older, often worse, and in a few cases are selling for as much as they did when new.

    Essentially, I really like the idea that in ten years time we might be able to point people back to milestones in game design and show them the history of the art, for free.

    • Inigo says:

      Essentially, I really like the idea that in ten years time we might be able to point people back to milestones in game design and show them the history of the art, for free.

      We can do that now. It’s just not technically legal.

    • Thants says:

      One good thing about pirates, they’ve kept just about every old game ever made available and running on modern hardware.

    • Jimbo says:

      Valve are giving their game away (again) in order to help spread Steam as far and wide as possible. This has a financial benefit for them. Giving away games on XBL is just a waste of bandwidth.

  4. Donjo says:

    The Evergreen School visit video is indeed charming, I was in a foul mood and now I am not :)

  5. Zogtee says:

    Actually brought a tear to my eye, this. Valve are fucking Gods of gaming. We’re so lucky to have them.

    We wont talk about the child that Gabe ACCIDENTALLY ate during lunch, though.

  6. tomemozok says:

    Thanks for this.This is why i love RPS! :D

    *Edit* Typo

  7. slpk says:

    Goddammit, Valve. Why do you keep being so awesome?

  8. LGM says:

    I always love to see Valve do stuff like this, it’s just one of the reasons why they’re the best game company out there today.

    IMO, Portal 1 should be free forever and included in the Steam library when people install the program, (optional to download, of course). Just like the good old days when you bought a game system and got a game bundled in with it (mario, sonic, whatever).

  9. Monchberter says:

    “Clever girl…”


  10. DarkeSword says:

    “How do you use the toilet?”

    “…… E.”


  11. xeon06 says:

    “defiantly” *shudders*

  12. ResonanceCascade says:

    What!? A game I paid for is free now? This is bullsh*t I should get a refund!

    (people actually said this when TF2 went free to play)

  13. shoptroll says:

    Pretty awesome. I wish I went on a field trip to a developer’s studio in elementary school!

  14. Moonracer says:

    Great video, though I was certainly jealous of those kids’ obviously privileged education. I’m happy some kids get experiences like that.

    Also, it would be cool if we could see the maps the kids made. Though as someone who spent about 6 months trying to learn Hammer as a hobby I have a pretty good idea what they looked like. Still, I bet there were some entertaining ideas.

  15. Laneford says:

    Right, that’s it, I’m taking my Year 8 class to Valve on monday morning.

  16. forevernever says:

    Wow, I wish that would happen at my school. But anyway, I’ve finally got Portal now!
    (I had Portal 2 before)

  17. Turbinator says:

    I am so mad, a while back I bought the Valve Complete Pack. Then Portal 2 came out. And now I have every Valve game ever made, except Portal 2.

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