Bargain King Lewie Procter alerts me to new that the new owners of Half-Life mod-gone-pro The Ship are offering a Christmas present to existing owners of the comedy assassination game. And yes, they do openly admit it's also "a transparent attempt at some shameless marketing", which makes it an even easier pill to swallow. Basically, if you've bought (or decide to buy) The Ship at any point between its release in 2006 and the end of the current Steam Winter sale, you'll be gifted two bonus copies of the game to give to anyone of your choosing. If they then activate it, they too get a free bonus key to giftify to someone else. It's like a chain letter, but with activation keys for an agreeable multiplayer videogame about silently murdering toffs on a 1920s cruise liner.
Of course, there are dual motives at play here: 1) for new owners Blazing Griffin to make a pile/heap/mountain of cash and 2) to kick-start The Ship's multiplayer community again. With the game approaching six years old and having never truly made it past cult status, those servers have understandably been a little sleepy for a while. With all these free keys suddenly floating around, that could change - it'll be fascinating to see what the Steam Sale Effect is on this old dear.
If you don't already own it or know anyone who does and can gift it to you, it's currently 50% off in the Winter Sale, which makes it £7.
Blazing Griffin, incidentally, picked up The Ship after original devs Outerlight went bust last year. They're an indie studio based in Scotland (as I believe were Outerlight?) with only an iOS game to their name so far, but they have a secret project codenamed 'FUll Steam Ahead' in the making too. Now there's a title that suggests additional shipping to my paranoid ears.