Free game going free too soon causes chaos for free remaster

Desktop Dungeons
(Image credit: QCF Design)

The cult classic roguelike Desktop Dungeons has just gotten a modern remaster, and a free giveaway to promote the launch has led to a not-insubstantial amount of chaos and confusion.

Desktop Dungeons is a 2013 roguelike whose main gimmick is that most sessions only take 10 minutes or less. Today, developer QCF Design launched Desktop Dungeons: Rewind, which they describe as a "modern remastering of the award-winning, bite-sized, tactical dungeon crawler." That might be underselling it a bit, actually, since Rewind completely overhauls the original with brand-new 3D graphics that make this more akin to a full-on remake.

Either way, Desktop Dungeons: Rewind is being given away for free to anyone who owned the original game prior to today's launch. Now, here's where the story gets confusing. To promote the launch of Rewind, the original game was set to be given away for free as soon as the new version became available. However, that promotion went live several hours before Rewind came out, which meant that it seemed like if you quickly picked up the original just before the remaster went live, you might get both versions for free.

The devs quickly had to issue a statement on the Steam forums, one which contained the phrase "we have no idea what's going to happen." It turns out that the original Desktop Dungeons was only supposed to go free after the launch of Rewind, but the giveaway accidentally went live early. And then, when Rewind actually launched, many people did not get their free copies, even if they had bought and paid for the original.

That post has since been updated, and after conferring with Valve, the devs have confirmed that you will not get Rewind for free if you claimed the original for free, or if you purchase the original after today. However, if you did buy the original before Rewind's release, you will get the remaster for free - it's just taking time for those copies to roll out.

There are plenty more excellent ways to bolster your digital gaming library with the best free Steam games out there.

Dustin Bailey
Staff Writer

Dustin Bailey joined the GamesRadar team as a Staff Writer in May 2022, and is currently based in Missouri. He's been covering games (with occasional dalliances in the worlds of anime and pro wrestling) since 2015, first as a freelancer, then as a news writer at PCGamesN for nearly five years. His love for games was sparked somewhere between Metal Gear Solid 2 and Knights of the Old Republic, and these days you can usually find him splitting his entertainment time between retro gaming, the latest big action-adventure title, or a long haul in American Truck Simulator.