You heard me, its FREE. Go on, get it already, it should be in your library now, waiting for you to click on that “Install” button. I have no idea if this is for forever, or just for the week because the world will be ending soon, but I have no time limit to download it (56k, you won’t finish before the world ends. I’m sorry). Its only a 3.8GB download and everything looks legit so far. Valve had Portal for free around the same time last year, so they could be slowly gearing up for their Christmas sale.

Note: If you don’t have it already, let me know in the comments below? I have a rather small group of Steam friends and everyone else already has the game, so I can’t verify if I’m just special or if everyone’s getting the same treatment.

UPDATE: Okay, just click the “Read More” button, something strange is going on here. 

It looks like I may be alone in this, or Valve has some super-random Portal giveaway that we don’t know about. The internet refuses to comment. In fact, when I Google for it, even if I adjust my search limits to this week only, this is the first hit I get:

Now, visiting that link takes to you to nowhere else but the Steampowered landing page. There’s nothing on Portal, nothing on it being for free and comments on Miklos’ Twitter page says that people can’t find it in their library. There isn’t even anything that would explain why I have it and others don’t. Unless…

I did find a thread on the Steam forums that detailed that one user had, in fact, received the same thing as I did – a free copy of the game, five days ago. Its definitely not First Slice, that much I know, since First Slice is a demo and it didn’t give you any cake at the end. But what if this is tied to those users who signed up for the Linux Beta? It does make sense, seeing as I am signed into it and am due to start my testing phase this week with Ubuntu 12.04. But the list of games for the current beta is limited to free games including Team Fortress 2, along with a few other Source-powered games and some other indie titles. Portal isn’t listed as one of them, though, at least, it hasn’t been vetted for the beta so far as I know (and its been reported that it is part of the planned Beta list).

A Reddit thread seems to support my theory with the Linux beta being involved. Since I don’t have my Ubuntu install running yet, its a bit confusing as to why I would be given this. Perhaps it is a free gift to say thanks for signing up? Or perhaps its Valve’s way of bypassing their own SteamPlay feature by giving all beta testers who don’t have the game a free copy? I’ll know for sure by the end of the week and so will you, dear NAGlings. Stay tuned.

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