So, What Happened On My Birthday?

As a little treat for the internets, on my birthday the other day I decided that we would give away our games for free, and see what the power of a single tweet could accomplish.


Well, of course, our server was flattened within the hour, as it turns out our keygen can only generate about 15 keys a minute, and we went on to give away 22,500 keys.  The only reason we only gave away 22,500 keys was because BMTMicro, our payment provider, closed our shop page after 12 hours because we couldn’t cope with the huge backlog coming in.

To make matters more amusing, we only had about 6,000 Steam keys to hand, and these ran out sharpish as well. It also turns out the Steam key retriever contained a schoolboy thread race error in it causing a couple of hundred people to receive duplicate Steam keys. And the cherry on the cake was that unbeknownst to us, a few days before the promotion, our server silently stopped sending email to customers after it was “migrated” by Rackspace. I’ve no idea how its configuration could have changed in that time, but it did. So we had this perfect storm going on:

  1. Site flattened
  2. Shop page shut down
  3. Ran out of Steam keys
  4. Email sender kaput

The end result is that my single tweet generated 3,000 support emails, none of which we will be answering :) No, instead, we are going to send an email to each and every one pointing to a FAQ page which explains what went wrong and what you can do about it, and if you’ve got some problem that’s not answered in the FAQ, we advise emailing us again.

Abuse!

It didn’t take long for some people, in Eastern Europe and Australia, to latch on to our generosity, and quickly create scripts to generate hundreds of Steam keys for themselves, which presumably they have been trading. Unfortunately I know about this. Unfortunate for them, that is, as every single one of these keys will shortly be invalidated by Valve, who will also at their discretion be completely banning accounts who took advantage of the abuse. This is called “karma”.

Slightly Less Abuse!

I’m not sure just how clear that tweet was about the offer but to me it looks very much like “1 item max” means that I only wanted to give away one game each on my birthday. I’m terribly sorry to all 3,137 people who decided to take all of our games during the offer, because I’ve had to disable them all, and again, Valve will be taking your keys off of you, and no, I’m not giving them back because there are thousands of you and you had your chance and blew it.

What We Are Left With

So out of that 22,500 ”sales”, we’ve actually ended up with just 11,200 legitimate people who took us up on the offer – happy birthday me! And a thousand thank yous to all those who took the offer in the spirit in which it was intended – you really are our fans and you make it all worthwhile for us. Keep an eye out for the completely updated, revamped and changed Ultratron 3.0 coming in the next couple of months, and of course, Droid Assault will be making an appearance on Steam as well soon.

Some Of Your Problems Answered

Where do I get the Steam key from for my game?

http://www.puppygames.net/steam

I got a duplicate key! Can you fix this?

Just try again, it’s fixed now.

I never received the email you said you sent me!

Try again, it’s fixed now. And check your SPAM folder!

It says you’ve run out of Steam keys!

We’ve got some more now, just try again.

My game has reverted back to a demo version!

That’s too bad – I did only want to give one game away each and I haven’t time to deal with everyone who somehow “misunderstood”

114 thoughts on 'So, What Happened On My Birthday?'

  1. I tried all day and never got through. =(

    Oh well, happy birthday! =) That was quite generous of you to give away so many and let your site get killed.

  2. I bought all the games two years ago, and it contains probably the most replayed game on my netbook. I have played Titan Attacks countless times now.

    I wonder, how wrong is it that I took one of your games even though I already had it, just so I could give it a friend?

      1. Not wrong at all, that was in the spirit of things. I’m not sure how accurate my blanket SQL ministrations will have been on the database though. I expect there will be about 20-30 angry emails on their way in the next few days from people I zapped accidentally.

  3. Reminds me of a saying, “No good dead ever goes unpunished.”

    But seriously, thanks for being such cool straight-up guys. Glad I purchased the games and sent some money your way.

  4. sorry to hear about the abuse , abusers didn’t just got extra game that will be revoked but prevent other legitimate people from getting their gift, anyway that would give them a good lecon about karma .
    by the way happy birthday

    1. just a thought next time when you made some give away like that you would limit the code to be used one time only by every e-mail meaning if i used the code using my email, if i tried to get another game using the same e-mail a message should appear saying that “this e-mail is alredy subscribe to this giveaway”
      that would prevenent people from getting another game usin their e-mail and if they tried another e-mail then thats their fault .

      1. There was a bit of an issue in that BMTMicro didn’t have an option to limit the purchases in this way automatically, so I just relied on trust. About 2/3rds of people understood the trust part and didn’t take advantage of us.

        A fairly large number of people used various variations on email addresses – probably well over a thousand – and too many for me to actually stop and fix, so they’ll have gotten away with it.

        1. For people who used various e-mail to buy a game you would send a request to confirm of being human not a bot or something like that so that people who used their personal e-mail will recive it and confirme it if they didn’t you would deactivate the key they use in thir bot e-mail.
          it might be a long shot but it will decrease the number of abused key.
          by the way i think that it’s impossible idea but who knows , trying to help

          1. I only bought the game with my only email adress Titan Attacks (Steam code) but my Puppygames.net account has been disabled somehow. Also sent support email that I am not a bot. :)

              1. But I didn’t read your Twitter message. Also I own your game Revenge of the Titans on Steam already. I only get Titan Attacks’s key not tried your other games too. Sorry for that. :(

          2. I totally approve this, not only this would minimizine the number of abused keys, but also against wrong bans!

            1. Just to be clear – nobody will be “banned” by us though the database will be in a little turmoil for a few days while it settles down.

  5. Unfortunately I completely missed your giveaway, but good that you’re responding to people abusing the system! And a late happy birthday! :)

  6. Hello,

    I purchased only (want Steam serial) Titan Attacks from you. And got my key and activated it without having problem. I didn’t want any other Steam key from you. And now if I want to get my Steam key again from your page, site is saying.

    “Sorry, but this email address has been disabled. Please email us at support@puppygames.net or you can contact us using this form.”

    So my Steam Account will get banned? I only wanted one Steam serial for Titan Attacks from you and activated in my Steam account not traded or sold. Thank you and I hope you will answer me.

    1. No-one’s Steam accounts will be banned for blagging multiple games from us or using fake email addresses or whatever. Valve might be investigating people attempting to sell keys from this promotion however.

  7. Sorry to hear about all the abuse. I thought the original message was abundantly clear – one game per person.

    I’m sure there is going to be whining about your corrective actions, but they seem entirely proportional and just.

  8. That’s awesome. Guess I need to follow you on twitter, haha.

    Also why did you not limit the code in store somehow? (shrug)

    Happy Birthday! Sorry for the stress, haha.

  9. Hey Caspian, Happy birthday!
    You know many people abused no doubt! But the news went to so many diferent places and sometimes they didn’t mention that only 1 game was allowed, I myself had no idea of the offcial rules, puppygames website said nothing, only the twitter i think…

    I did took one so I’am happy I didn’t let you down on your birthday! :) Thank you for the game!

    But I don’t get it, how did they create those scripts… the email must be valid no?

    1. myemail+1@gmail.com
      myemail+2@gmail.com

      myemail+250@gmail.com
      etc.

      All valid email address, but non-unique, so we dutifully registered a key to each one, and then whoever operated the scripts presumably scripted the thing that then went and harvested the Steam keys out of the database.

      A fair few people did it manually too with about 10-15 email addresses along those lines. That’s dedication considering the load the site was under.

  10. Thanks for the birthday gift! Sorry it turned into such a mess for you. I already had RotT, so I got Titan Attacks and have been thoroughly enjoying it and intend to purchase some of your other titles in the future.

  11. I should just like to point out to anyone who would like to leave negative comments about how we handle this that they are wasting their time, and that their criticisms are churlish at best considering the nature of the gift, and simply rude otherwise.

  12. Many thanks for the free game Caspian! Happy Birthday! I’ll buy the only Puppygame I don’t have when I next get paid, so you guys better get coding ;-)

  13. So, i got messaged via IM that you were giving away your games.
    I grabbed all 3 games which i was missing.
    Since i got only a link to puppygames.net, i saw your tweet now for the first time.
    According to that i completly lacked the knowledge everyone should only take 1 game.
    Well, i assume thats bad luck.

    Of course my e-mail got banned and i know your right with your actions, but will i be able to buy any of those or is my e-mail banned permanent?

    A simple note on the page would have been usefull.

    But i acknowledge your generousity, gifting at your birthday while you should be the one who receives gifts.

    1. That’s cool, thanks for writing and letting me know. We won’t permanently ban any emails at all and if anyone has any trouble with that sort of thing we can sort it out, though not just yet until we’ve dealt with the huge support problem!

  14. Sorry to hear about all the losers taking advantage/complaining about what is entirely a-nice-thing you did.
    Gamers and entitlement together make me sad to be in the industry.

    Happy Birthday though.

    P.S. post more about your next game ;)

  15. Well Happy Birthday and major thanks!

    Good job on detecting the script kiddies, sucks that as always, some people had to ruin it for others.

    Looking forward to seeing Droid Assault on Steam! (Yay, Paradroid! You should do a Heavy Metal edition! ;) )

    1. I did find it interesting that every single one of the people scamming us were from Eastern Europe. Or, er, Australia.

        1. Because they all were. As opposed to everywhere else in the world, including the equally financially troubled Southern European and South American economies, which rules out a purely fiscal reason. An interesting factoid, think you not?

          Other developers go so far as to IP block entire countries for this reason.

  16. By the way we are now receiving quite a few heartfelt apologies from people about blagging – really, truly, that’s very touching and very decent of you. I hope you all realise it’s nothing personal, but with 8,000 people to deal with we couldn’t easily do it in a polite fashion but then nor could we ignore it either.

    Hopefully we’ll be able to do another special thing for everyone next year!

  17. Bad abusers!

    Thanks so much for the giveaway. I picked Titan Attacks, and I never knew that Space Invaders could be so… perfect. You are an excellent developer and I won’t hesitate to buy from you in future.

    I hope that the abusers didn’t cause you too much stress and your birthday was a good one.

  18. I emailed support with a question regarding mouse-grab in Titan Attacks (rather than an activation/Steam key query). Is that likely to get answered? Should I try asking again?

    I hope that aside from the obvious debacle, you had an otherwise fantastic birthday.

    Cheese

    1. Try asking again on Thursday! We’re going to have to zap the whole inbox tomorrow after sending out a blanket email.

      1. Thanks. I sent an email to support today. I’ll be sure to resend it in a couple of days.

  19. I Cas, first of all Happy birthday to you, sorry for the delay. I want to give you my public apologies for what is happened. I’m one who abuse of your generosity and misunderstood what you wrote. I had submitted 4 orders for all of the games because I think you want to give them all without problems, but for some reason (i.e. shop didn’t recognize multiple discounts on games) we have to check 4 differents orders. Yeah, sound a bit strange but there are free games and I didn’t tought enough and start making orders. I didn’t want to abuse by this, i simply misunderstood because I read of this “giveaway” in another website. However, I abused of this because i didn’t come back never for say “thanks”. So here it is, excuse me for abused of you and thanks for let me know by this post. Otherwise probably I never come back. I’ll buy one of your games, I want to make this as a my “”"gift”"” for your birthday and also to know what your games are about… the nice thing is that without all this mess probably I never approached your games. Keep on and sorry again for my behavior.

    P.s. I’m italian and have bad skills in english writing, hope is understandable by all.

  20. What about the people which didn’t know it was 1 item Max?
    Will there be a way for them to redeem at least one?

    1. Not this time, I’m very sorry – there are 8000 of them, far too many for me to deal with, especially for nothing.

  21. Well, happy birthday, guy! And thanks for the free game. I grabbed Titan Attacks!, and I love it to death. Almost makes me feel bad I didn’t buy it. I DID buy Revenge of the Titans, though, and I’m terrible at it. So I guess it all balances out.

    In any event, put your other games on Steam so my OCD-game-centralizing ass can buy them! Or have more birthdays. I’m not picky.

  22. Well, I only got one game, and I managed to get the Steam key too. I already said thanks via Twitter, but here it is again:

    Thank you. Titan Attacks is fun.

  23. Unfortunately I completely missed your giveaway
    this is sad how the people behave
    sorry for my english i am from Czech Republic

  24. Got my new steam-key just now (first one was duplicate). Thanks guys, I really appreciate your giveaway. I was happy to play Titan Attacks (purchased Revenge of the Titans way back) even without steam, but “cheevs are cheevs” XD

    Will be sure to purchase other games when they finally come to Steam :)

  25. As zikzak said, I too celebrated early by buying all of your games some time ago! :D

    This was a fun blog post to read though, I’m glad you’re sticking it to jerks with keyscrapers and the asses who tried to take more than you (very generously) offered.

  26. I have two codes, not because i personally got both of them but because my cousin realized he chose the wrong game and gave it to me afterwards (he had wanted revenge of the titans and got titan attacks accidentally, the code in question was sent to this email.).

    We were in a rush to get a game each during the promotion and trying to redeem one each, but given the circumstances with the order form it frankly got a little confusing.

    It wasn’t intentional but i did wind up with two game copy’s, i assume the email with my cousin’s code is enough information to revoke one or both codes if you so choose, if you need my email for my revenge of the titans code i can fill that in on a different post.

    I’ve felt horrible about this giveaway after i saw so many people uploading giveaways for “Titan Attacks” and “Revenge of the Titans” in steamgifts, I’ve been reporting every illegitimate one i see :S

  27. Thanks for this giveaway. I grabbed Titan Attack but picked Droid Assault on the way thinking of trying it so I lost my Titan Attack as well. I’m sorry for abusing it but none the less, I will definitely pick Titan Attack up when it is on sales and can’t wait for Droid Assault to be up in Steam soon.

    Love you guys <3

  28. Cas,

    A belated Happy Birthday! to you. Although it’s simply not enough to say in lieu of your generosity – Thank You!

    I had already purchased TA and ROTT on Steam, and I am now enjoying Droid Assault thanks to your birthday offer. And, my son is enjoying Titan Attacks. We will continue to support puppygames and all of your future endeavors.

    Just the fact that you are responding to quite a few of the posts in this blog shows what type of person you are, and makes it even more pathetic that your generosity was taken advantage of.

    Thanks again for the outstanding free game. You’re GREAT!

  29. Sorry for the misunderstand. I didn’t aware it was 1 max per account.
    I just want to tell you I’m not a robot and not intend to take advantage.
    And Happy Birthday to you. :)

  30. Oh, Titans Attacks is a steam game? Crud, I overlooked this because I got Revenge of the Titans as a bundle game earlier.

  31. I tried to get a key when it happened, but I never got sent a key; then, I was grumpy [grumpy! over generosity!], but dang, I regret that now.
    Happy belated birthday, and I’m glad the games are only going to actual fans rather than people who want to scam you :)

  32. you didn’t say 1 max per account clearly, just like a Scammer!

    to celebrate a Scammer’s birthday? NEVER!

    I will report your fraud website to Google\FBI\United Nations Headquarters\Whitehouse\Kremlin\Buckingham Palace\Zhongnanhai\Mossad\MI6\Tehran

    1. I had to approve this comment just to show you some of the lovely feedback we get for giving away two years salary.

      I implore the Great Internets to look upon my tweet and determine how clear “1 item max” looks to you. And then I ask that you explain why you had to go to the shop page 4 individual times, whilst the server was under colossal load, to buy all four games separately using the discount code each time, and still think you weren’t being unfair.

      Sadly it’s people like this who prevented another 10,000 people getting a free game by overloading our site.

  33. I suppose I would be counted as one of the abusers, although possibly unintentionally :P

    I originally tried acquiring Ultratron, and, after everything was completed, found that the Java applet was not validating the game, although claiming it was (Tried both Chrome 20 Dev, and IE9 on Win7 x64). Seeing as how this was not working (And being one of the 3000 support e-mails ;/), I subsequently attempted to acquire Titan Attacks (From my experience, Steam keys are generally more reliable than Java applets ;D), although after the process, received the duplicate Steam Key error.

    So, I should be technically be counted as an abuser for attempting to acquire 2 different games, and do apologize for this.

    \o/ \o/ Happy Birthday! \o/ \o/

    1. Again, I am very sorry about the blanket nature of the zappage, there’s just too many to sort through :(
      Also, I must get rid of that applet.

      1. Yeah that applet made it so I couldn’t activate Droid Assault but being a free game (thank you!) I can wait till this is all resolved before I play. Sorry to hear about all of the trouble you got from being generous and relying on the honor system.

      2. Heya,

        Not a problem in the least :)

        RE the applet, why’d you choose to do it that way, as opposed to the conventional “Register in-game” method?

        1. There is a register in-game method (which is what most people use) but it is foxed by firewalls, so the applet is still there as a legacy. I really am going to get rid of it once and for all though – it causes more trouble than the firewalls!

          1. The in-game registration is also made slightly confusing by the “Failed! You have already purchased the game! Please check your e-mail on how to register again!” display :p (How this message is ever meant to appear is a mystery – It shouldn’t appear if you’ve registered since you shouldn’t get the “Please enter e-mail” box, and if you haven’t registered, it won’t appear to say you have :D )

            1. It appears if you register the game on another computer :) All our games are registerable on any computers you may ever own, on any OS, for life.

  34. You could add limitations to seperate purchases. That is your fault not someones. Great work and PR, you did it right and everyone knows your games and you now. Good luck, but I won’t buy any of your games in future. You are giving away games and take it back, LOL to you.

    1. Actually, no, we couldn’t. There was a limitation in place but that was the best limitation that could be applied by BMT and in any case didn’t stop people using multiple email addresses. We relied on trust. You had to try reasonably hard to break our trust as well. Whichever way you look at it, people broke our trust, and if you’re one of them, then you’re no loss to us. At all.

      1. I don’t care about your games and didn’t purchase free games on your birthday. I just saw this on Steam forums and I thought that is a good PR strategy but that makes you look bad. So I won’t buy any of your games in future and won’t support you because of this PR strategy. Also will tell my friends to not buy your games too. If you are doing a giveaway just make sure you have potential to make it fine or not make it. That is your fault not the buyers. Blame yourself and your non secured payment options and amateur security.

        1. Here Ugar Yanar, I fixed it for you:

          I care about your games and as posted previously, I already purchased two of your games prior to taking you up on your very generous birthday offer. I also saw this on Steam forums and I thought that it was an outstanding heart-felt offer, not a PR strategy, but one that shows you’re a great guy, as well as an outstanding developer with excellent games. So, I’ll buy all of your games in the future and I’ll definitely support you, not only because of your very generous offer, but because you produce great games. Also, I’ll tell all my friends to buy your games too. It’s too bad you can’t do a giveaway without people who lack morals and ethics taking advantage of you. That is their fault though, and obviously not yours. Don’t place any blame on yourself though as you can’t control what people like that do.

          1. Talk in the name of yourself but not for me Richard. That is a cheap PR strategy, now everyone knows that. As I said if you don’t know how to make a giveaway just don’t do that.

  35. I heard about your givaway, and I went to your site and thought it looked cool, but then I couldn’t be arsed doing all the signup and shit a game for free. Anyway I told some of my mates about your giveaway and they thought it was cool too. Happy birthday!

  36. First off, I would like to apologize myself for everything that has happened. I hope you had a great birthday still though! :)

    I used the same account to get the other games for Friends (After getting myself Titan Attacks), In hindsight, I should of let them get it themselves. I understand the reasoning to banning my Email Address, it was clear only 1 per a person (Which should of hinted to me, only 1 per an account).

    Anyways, I understand the reason to revoking everything. Not only did people do what I did (Possibly with worse intentions [Like keeping them for themselves]), but abused it to get 100′s of keys to sale/trade. I mean, it would be silly not to revoke them.

    Thanks for everything you have done, and for the nice gesture that sadly went sour. I have enjoyed your game Revenge of the Titans (Got it from HIB), and will soon just buy Titan Attack myself on steam. Keep making great games!

  37. Cool story, bro. It seems you provided me with a free weekend of the games you made. Thanks for your effort to make us fun and happy B-day.

  38. I blagged a copy of Titan Attacks, but the email didn’t turn up and the Steam keygen page said my email wasn’t recognised, so I assumed I’d mis-typed and tried again with a different address. So naturally I then got two confirmation emails in quick succession. I figured I’d just give away one of the Steam keys to a mate, but the first on I tried was a duplicate! Karma strikes again!

    Anyway: happy birthday, and thanks ever so for the freebie!

  39. A belated happy birthday, and good luck dealing with the fallout. I think you are a tad too strict with the ‘lesser fraud’ thing, but it’s your choice to make.

    As for me, I didn’t catch it, but I already have RoTT on Steam so :)

  40. I would like to explain what happened in Europe (in case you still don’t know about it).

    First of all, sorry for my English but It’s not my first language.
    So, I found out about the promo in a very important website about videogame offers. It said nothing about 1 game each and it was written in 4 different posts (one for each game).

    That’s a very importante website for people from UK and all over Europe so, many of your “sales” came that way.
    Besides, I have a website about videogame offers for spanish people, so I wrote more or less the same that I read in the UK site after testing it. So, keep going… it’s because we found out not for your tweet but for some other websites.

    At least, you should have written something about the promo in the landing page of the store while the offer was active.

    Congrats for those great games by the way.

      1. No, I’m the one who is ashamed for missunderstanding the gift.

        It’s a pity I “bought” them all to test the “offer” when I really want only Titan Attacks for now. Nevermind, I will buy it sooner or later.

        1. Misunderstanding or didn’t knowing the rules? That’s huge difference. You tweeted and hoped everyone would know about the rules. For me you also could have wrote rules on the sheet of paper and throw it through your window, then someone finds it out and starts shouting: “free games”. So other people are checking puppygames site, and there is no other info 1 per user, and I think there should be at least at main page or while buying.

          I have RoT from HiB, looking to buy the Titan Attacks, missed the promo, but that’s ok for me, cos I would probably take more than just Titan Attacks… Great games anyway. Happy Birthday.

          1. The store page did its best to enforce the rules, but people tried their hardest to work around it anyway. I don’t believe most of it was innocent I’m afraid, seeing as 75% of the people taking up the offer did so legitimately.

            1. Maybe it did its best but not enough as you can see. Same as the tweet was not enough. I think you just were not ready to make such a promotion (big companies – like GOG.com, GMG – are strong enough to take the “misunderstanding” on themselves, but I guess here we have a little bit more situation and every penny (every copy) is important).

              And IMHO it doesn’t matter if the 25% was innocent or 0,025% was innocent – even if 1 person was not doing that on purpose to break the rules – something went wrong in some point or was not organized well enough.

              Good luck next time (if there even will be one) – EOT.

            2. I also wrote a feedback for you webpage (and you’ve said you’re not going to answer, fine) telling about i was unable to find your twitter account to follow in your web (i know i can search in google, or even in twitter.com). I also wrote in caps at the beginning that my feedback wasn’t about steam keys or games, just only about your webpage. But now all I want to say is that in some situations it could be hard to “find” the rules.

              I found the promo in a forum and i didn’t know about the limitations. I took “only” a copy of each of them, and well, if I had read something about the limitations in your webpage, i’m sure I would have bought only one.

              You could have put something in the web page, it should have been better for everyone. You could now revoked ALL the abused keys and a lot of more people would be happy now because it would have “bought” only one.

              Regards,

              pd: sorry for my poor english.

  41. Not everyone just didn’t listen, a lot of people didn’t even know that you want to give away 1 title max, because internet works that way: you don’t have to get the info from the source (like your tweet). If i would know its only 1 title per email i would have taken just Tittan Attack. Bye.

  42. And BTW you dont even know how many peps used multiple email accounts to get more than 1 game, and theyre ok for you. GG.

    1. Oh I do, there are just too many to sort through manually – it would take me days and days – and considering the whole thing hasn’t earned us a single bean I don’t think it’s really worth it!

  43. First of all, happy birthday. Belated, but I hope you don’t mind. It was very nice of you to give your games away, and a pity events conspired against you. As a game collector I took advantage of it and got Droid Assault. I hope to get to play it one day, rather than just collect it. Would its appearance on Steam mean that a key will also be made available for it? That would increase the chance I play it.

  44. Hi,

    Many kudos to you for an incredible giveaway.
    Picked up Titan Attacks (already had RotT from HIB).

    For me, your only error in this stunt was to trust in people. Humanity is decrepit and people with any sense of ethic are quickly disappearing.

    If you’ve accompanied the “HIB/Steam debacle” during Christmas, you’ve should have seen this coming…

    Anyway, this is not a negative comment, just a rant about abusers…

    Best of luck to you and Puppy Games!

    P.S.: Put a donation button on the site :)

  45. I used the code twice, with the same email though, and both time for the same game. Since the first Steam code I received was a duplicate, I figured I could “buy” the game a second time and get a different code. Of course that didn’t work and I finally got a new code once you fixed everything. I just hope it won’t count as abuse, especially since I didn’t get anything more in the end. (The game is still on my Steam account so I’m gessing I’m safe)

  46. Well, happy late birthday, Cas.

    There is *one* big thing you are ignoring here, this is your original tweet:

    Happy Bday Me! Totally free games for everyone today only at http://t.co/1PQ5JsH7 – use code BIRTHDAYBOY at checkout! (1 item max) – plz rt!

    And *this* is how quite a few of us got to see, after it has been retweeted as requested by you (depending on the re-tweeter’s or reader’s twitter client):

    RT @puppygames – Happy Bday Me! Totally free games for everyone today only at http://t.co/1PQ5JsH7 – use code BIRTHDAYBOY at checkout! (1

    You might see that one vital piece of information was essentially eaten by twitter’s 140 character limit.

    So the information that people got was that you were handing out free games (plural!) and what code to use to get them. That’s the position I was in.

    Now saying that it was “mean spirited” to take advantage of your “quite clear” offer is a bit insulting if you see all the facts.

    Had I known that this was valid for one game only, I would have done exactly that. But you have to understand that quite a few people simply never got that information, only that you were giving out free games (plural!) on your birthday, with the coupon code “BIRTHDAYBOY” – not more, not less (well, maybe an alien looking smily in the form of “(1″ )

    Like many other’s I already owned “Revenge of the Titans” and was only interested in “Titan Attacks” – the only game I bothered with.

    Treating everyone who picked up more than one game as a mean spirited cheater may not be the proper course ahead considering that quite a few of those people simply never had the opportunity to see the full conditions of the offer.

    1. … the correct and fair thing to handle this, would be to write to the offending people (who may, or may not have been aware of the conditions of the offer) and explain the conditions to them in a friendly e-mail and let them pick one of the games to keep. If they liked on of them enough, they can and will probably buy the others.

      Disabling and/or banning 25% of the people who took advantage of your offer will lose you quite a lot of good will and sales in the future.

      1. If we were talking about just a couple of hundred then yes but unfortunately we’re talking thousands and seeing as I don’t have infinite time and money I just did what I had to.

        Also, there are 10,500 people who got a free game versus 3000 who didn’t. Lighten up.

  47. Hi Cas,

    Great birthday action! Pretty cool to read this report about it too! I’m one of those people who used the redeem code on all your games, and here’s why:

    I don’t follow you on twitter, but came across some Russian account who was tweeting (not REtweeting) that you were giving away your games with said redeem code, but failed to mention your rule of 1 game max. So not all of us were doing it because we were meanfully untrustworthy. Oh well, I’ll buy the games I really like anyway when I get to playing the demos. ;)

    Hope you had a good one despite the abuse,
    Gaurav

  48. WOOO, as with many others, I got your games ay 1 cause they rock. Thanks for the act of kindness and happy birthday!!!!!!!!!! :D DD

  49. Aaaaanyways – big thanks to everyone for support (and birthday wishes!) – I’d better close comments now. If anyone feels super-wronged by the heavy handed impartial battering of my SQL statements, get in touch in a few days!!! and maybe I’ll be able to fix it for you.

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