Genius Move By Valve: Free Portal

Few things are more popular than an excellent game by valve, one of those few things is a free excellent game by valve.  Unless you live in a cave and/or hate video games you know the game portal is excellent, and that it's free until may 24th.  This is one of the most well thought out marketing gimmicks I have witnessed in a long time. The main thing that valve wishes to do is to introduce steam, a video game purchasing and download client, to the Mac people. Which is a worthy and justifiable cause in and of itself. Allowing free downloads of a great game is good way to promote valve as well.

Side Effects and Conspiracy Theories
Valve seems to be doing much more than just spreading the word of good will. They are reaching an audience.  There were many people like myself that didn't buy into the hype and play portal the second it came out.  Like me many others had dozens of excellent games to play and little cash in the bank to spare on extras.  I'll admit it I was playing WOW, I broke that addiction! Praise the lord!  Eventually, the portal hype wore off and many people never ended up playing it.  

Now think to yourself, your a game developer working on Portal 2. Saying to yourself, "Portal 1 was so great who wouldn't play Portal 2?" 
The obvious answer is people who haven't played Portal 1. 

What's the best way to generate sales for Portal 2?  Get as many people to play Portal 1 as possible.  It's really a simple equation when you just stop to think about it.  The more people play the original, the more people will play the sequel.   

Added benefits include getting the portal name out and in the process making it part of the biggest event to hit pc gaming, since doom. The launch of multi-platform steam is going to change the way computer games are produced and may very well change the course of computing and the operating system battle as we know it. 

Portal 2 Speculation
Portal will probably come out in the next few months, six months at the most.  I expect valve to gracefully ride their wave of publicity all the way to the sandy shores of profit city. Announcements on release dates should come soon.  Based on my short game play experience, I very much expect the second game to be long form and far more story driven. There is a well publicized alternate ending to the game that makes this idea plausible. I'm sure the game will still be puzzle oriented, but expect more plot elements, more characters, and a cameo from someone in the half life universe.  If the game ends being in the half life universe, I will probably hurt someone really badly, which roughly translates to writing a strongly worded blog post or letter. 

I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

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