GameMaker Studio's Standard Version Free for a Limited Time!
Who knows what got into the blokes at YoYoGames? Maybe it's due to holiday fever, or maybe it's a pre-Black Friday special. Either way, GameMaker Studio (usually $50) is free for a limited time.
As posted on Reddit by user iampremo (who is a confirmed member of YoYoGames):
It's just for the active free users for the next little while, anyone that already has a licence won't benefit from this promotion so we tried for it to not get in the way of their experience.
It seems that with so many people sticking to version 8 and 8.1 of GameMaker, YoYoGames might now be resorting to this in order to get their customers to make the switch from 8.x to Studion. GameMaker Studio offers more tools, and the Standard Version can export to Mac as well as Windows--and for an extra fee, one can obtain the Pro license, which allows for Linux executables and Web formats to be exported. The program has had trouble gaining traction due to its steep pricing.
However, you'll have to jump through some minor hoops to get the license, as posted by user ReverantWK on Reddit
...you need to select the "Beta" update option (you'll see it) to get the option for the free license. That's the option I picked.
The program will restart and launch with a window with three options: one to use the free (feature-gimped) version, one to register for a free studio license, and one to enter a studio license.
It's the second option. Enter your email. Enter it again, hit register. Key comes to you. Enter the key. VOILA.
Don't know how to get started? YouTube user Shaun Spalding has a handy guide to GameMaker Studio, which will teach you the basics and allow you to create your very own game, from scratch!