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Valve Announce Potato Sack Reunion: Oh Boy

I don't think this ends well.

The Potato Sack Reunion? The last time Valve had a bunch of indie games at reduced prices on Steam, linked together by a potato-themed sack, it led to the clusterfuck that was the Portal 2 ARG. Despite the last deal perhaps having left a somewhat sour memory in some people’s minds, they’re repeating it with a collection of 13 indie games for £14.99. But, why?

So you’ve got 1…2…3.. KICK IT!, AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!, Amnesia, AudioSurf, BIT.TRIP BEAT, Cogs, Defense Grid: The Awakening, Killing Floor, RUSH, Super Meat Boy, The Ball, The Wonderful End Of The World, and Toki Tori in there, worth £54.37 individually. So it’s a pretty decent deal, and each game can be gifted if it’s already in your collection. Which is pretty likely, since this is a rather dated collection of games, really. But there’s the big question: why?

Last time we saw all the involved games adding potato-themed extras into their games, with the peculiar involvement of GLaDOS, all with the idea that successfully completing each game would lead to Portal 2 coming out early. However, many speculated that this didn’t lead to any meaningfully earlier release, the difference coming down to hours rather than the days people had believed it would be. There was much anger, some perhaps even deserved.

So it’s repeating. Last time it went: Potato Sack launches, countdown timer appears, at the end of the timer there’s a challenge to play all the games enough to release Portal 2 early, Portal 2 then comes out about five minutes early, everyone gets incredibly angry until they play Portal 2 and realise it’s brilliant.

Which asks a few questions:

1) Are they about to release a new game? If so, which? The use of a potato seems to suggest it’s Portal related, but then that would be attributing logic to Valve – a mistake.

2) Are they about to try another ARG? If so, oh God, please, no. You’re no good at it Valve – you involve about 17 hardcore people, and everyone else stares on, alienated, and then gets annoyed by the inevitably anticlimactic denouement.

3) Will the games be changing their content again? They’re mostly pretty old games, and they’re mostly developers who previously added Portal-themed content to their games as part of the last promotion – picking that lot again makes it seem possible they’re hoping to do something similar. Then again, perhaps they’re just doing a favour for those developers who put all the effort in a year back.

4) Will the internet explode into a rage-guff of epic proportions?

5) Is this just a bunch of cheap indie games, since the offer ends at 4pm tomorrow?

I command you to speculate.

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John Walker


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