Fallout 4 Hoax Creator Breaks Cover, Explains Actions

By Nathan Grayson on December 10th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

Alas.

Plenty of people try to pull fast ones on the general gaming populace. Very few of them sit down for a pleasant fireside chat afterward. And yet, that’s exactly what the disappointment wizard behind infamous Fallout 4 “teaser” site Survivor 2299 did in the wake of a freshly canceled hoax campaign. Going by the name DCHoaxer on Reddit, he hosted an AMA that revealed why he did it, how much it cost ($990!), and what it was originally going to culminate in (a full-blown CG trailer). Hoaxcrafters and pranksters the world over, meet your new god.

So, first up, why go to all this trouble in the first place? Well, DC had a surprisingly well-meaning plan:

“I wanted to force Bethesda to reveal something during VGX on 12/11, and bring the /r/Fallout community together (for at least 3 weeks) Unfortunately, this plan Failed.”

Good intentions? Maybe. Er, kinda? But also some very flawed reasoning. Leaks prompt early reveals. Hoaxes prompt, well, pretty much what Bethesda did.

As for that CG trailer, a chat with Bethesda apparently “killed his plans.” He added, however, that he’ll release it later, once the publisher has removed its quavering finger from the proverbial big red button. “I’ll do it after 12/11 on my website,” he wrote. “Let things cool off a little. I don’t wan’t to piss off Bethesda at this time even more.”

Also, in case you’re mad, DC acknowledged that he’s a “prick,” “asshole,” and a “douche,” so he covered pretty much the full spectrum of colloquial self-deprecation. He’s also received 14 death threats, because the Internet turns human beings into complete psychopaths.

So there you have it: the aftermath of a perhaps overly elaborate prank. Fallout 4 remains officially unannounced, Fallout fans’ jimmies have officially been rustled, and I have officially exposed “officially” as a largely meaningless word in most games articles. Have a good one, all!

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88 Comments »

Top comments

  1. Viroso says:

    Sometimes it’s good to have your jimmies rustled to remember you still have them.

  1. RedViv says:

    At least it was nice boost to the sales of haemorrhoid ointment.

  2. Cinek says:

    I still wait for that supposed trailer :) Who cares if it’s fan-made or Bethesda-made – as long as it’s good – I’ll watch it with pleasure.
    TBH I don’t have any high hopes for Bethesda’s Fallout 4. They keep on pushing Fallout franchise down – the only recent Fallout I liked – New Vegas – was made by Obsidian… and if anything – Bethesda should outsource Fallout 4 to them.

  3. AngelTear says:

    He’s also received 14 death threats, because the Internet turns human beings into complete psychopaths.

    So, I heard Half-Life 3 has been conf— *gunshot*

    • Shadowcat says:

      The internet turns human beings into complete psychopaths in the same way that games turn normal kids violent.

      I know it was a jokey comment, but given the considerable time and effort that RPS puts into debunking the latter, I would think it would refrain from statements like the former.

      I think it’s a safe assumption that the ‘psychopaths’ in question didn’t need the internet in order to have their “fine upstanding member of society” cards revoked.

      • BTAxis says:

        Not necessarily. The psychopaths in question may well behave quite acceptably when they can’t hide behind the anonymity of the internet. Greater Fuckwad Theory, and all that. While that still means the internet doesn’t “turn them into” psychopaths, it is nevertheless the medium that lets them act as such.

        • The Random One says:

          The Greater Fuckwad Theory is outright wrong. A normal person doesn’t turn into a fuckwad because of anonymity and lack of consequences; rather, a fuckwad turns into a (reasonable facsimile of a) normal person in real life because of consequences and lack of anonymity. The internet doesn’t turn normal people into psychopaths; real life forces psychopaths to act like normal people.

          This is the Revised Fuckwad Theory. Pass it on.

          • Geebs says:

            Hey, there’s a guy here to see you; says his name’s “Zimbardo”?

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            Ehhhh I know you’re only wisecracking but Zimbardo’s conclusions and data have been heavily contested for years amid constant claims of his not-so subtle manipulation of the experiments. You could say the SPE proved that people tend to do the things that those with money and authority tell them to do really. And Milgram did that better.

          • guygodbois00 says:

            Pretty much what I always thought about the Internet, psychos etc. Well summed up, sir/lady/ai.

          • trajan says:

            As a confirmed fuckwad, I can confirm this as mostly true. I can just be myself on the interwebs, while in RL, I have to play by some rules. My friends still consider me a fuckwad, but they are still my friends. I’m careful not to cross too many lines in RL. On the interwebs, I’m more than happy to torment you for my own amusement.

          • Geebs says:

            @CookPassBabtridge
            *cough* Abu Ghraib *cough*

      • Convolvulus says:

        The phrase “death threats” in this context should always be placed in sarcastic quotation marks, which are like regular quotation marks but soooo much more interesting.

        • Wisq says:

          Internet “death threats” are “all fun and games” (for the senders, anyway) up until they hide a real death threat amidst them.

          But then, if their death-threat target actually did die, I suppose those internet sociopath wankers would probably just say “they had it coming” or similar, sidestep all the guilt and blame, and go right back to doing it the next time.

          (Of course, if it did come to that, I’d love to see all the “death threat” senders doing some court and/or jail time. Assuming the cops can track them down. It’s not like the internet is really *that* anonymous when you’ve got online databases and a court warrant.)

        • SominiTheCommenter says:

          Also known as scare quotes.

      • AngelTear says:

        Well there’s a difference between the thought that “(Violent) Games turn Normal people into violent ones (in real life)” and “The Internet turns human beings into psychopaths (on the internet)”
        I believe the former is mostly false and the second one is mostly true. (Believe, not think: I have no reason to definitively commit myself to either) Or, if it didn’t turn them into psychopaths, at least it gave them voice. Also because, while a game is still seen as a virtual environment in which I’m momentarily allowed to do things I wouldn’t normally do, the internet is much more like an extension of real life, and you’re not just playing within a set of rules, you’re being yourself.

        I don’t know why it does it, but it does. Or maybe it doesn’t, and you’re right, on the internet it’s simply not as easy to discriminate and allow some people in and shut some others out like it is in real life. But the impression is definitely there.

      • mixvio says:

        It was pretty obvious tongue-in-cheek hyperbole.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        It’s a clearly understood turn of speech. It doesn’t mean the the internet *literally* turns people in to *literal* psychopaths, it means that the ease and anonymity of internet communications enables/encourages people to speak and act in a manner they’d never dream of in face-to-face (or non-anonymous) communications.

  4. dethtoll says:

    Fallout 4 officially unannounced. Half-Life 3 con-

    dethtoll was killed in a driveby

  5. Viroso says:

    Sometimes it’s good to have your jimmies rustled to remember you still have them.

    • Shadowcat says:

      I don’t know what jimmies are, but if they’ve been rustled then by definition you don’t have them.

      • particlese says:

        They’re tiny rainbow-colored sugar & corn syrup blobs that some people put on ice cream. They make a rustling noise when you shake their container.

        • molamolacolacake says:

          I’m so happy someone else knows the term jimmies as a reference to ice cream sprinkles. People never know what I’m talking about when I say “rainbow jimmies.”

        • tomeoftom says:

          In Australia at least, we call them “hundreds and thousands”, which is an awesome name, I think. As kids, you’d have it on white bread with butter: “fairy bread” – which in hindsight is pretty darn ghetto.

          • Jackablade says:

            Yeah, Jimmies are chocolate sprinkles. I always wondered, when I was a wee lad, whether there was some slightly racist context for that.

        • Imbecile says:

          So jimmies isn’t an abbreviation of pyjamas then?

          • CookPassBabtridge says:

            It is where I come from, which is the land of mild disapproval and unspoken resentment

      • MichaelGC says:

        It’s “the noise dry leaves make” type of ‘rustle,’ rather than the “thieve cattle from a ranch” version.

    • The Random One says:

      I once thought my jimmies had been rustled, but it turned out it was just a bustle in my hedgerow.

  6. Wrathbone says:

    I don’t wish the guy death, because I’m not a mentalcase. I do, however, hope he gets his comeuppance in the most pant-soilingly humiliating way possible.

    Also, please make Fallout 4, Bethesda!

  7. Snargelfargen says:

    This isn’t the first Fallout hoax. Interplay got caught copyright squatting when they announced plans for an mmo which they never intended to complete.

    Edit: Woops, wrong publisher. It was Interplay, or more correctly, the zombified shell of the company that now remains.

  8. Turkey says:

    Bringing the Fallout community together is easy. You just post “Fallout 3 sucks!” somewhere on the internet.

    • jack4cc says:

      That would only bring the “oblivion with guns” community together, not the true fallout (1+2) community.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        Surely it would bring both groups together – just on different sides.

        • Press X to Gary Busey says:

          In the same cozy way a civil war brings a nation together. On different sides.

    • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

      There’s no need for the oldschool vs newcomer fan war because Fallout 3 sucks on it’s own right, just compare it to Deus Ex 3, Far Cry 3 and Dishonored and you will see what a sub par RPG/FPS it is.

      • Thurgret says:

        Well, you are comparing a 2008 open world RPG to two 2011 games and a 2012 game, which I’d hazard are better described as action games or shooters.

        • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

          All those three games I mentioned have all the elements that make an RPG: XP system, skill trees, side quests, multiple endings, etc…

          And Bethesda launched Skyrim in the end of 2011 and almost every issue of Fallout 3 could still be seen there, unfixed.

        • All is Well says:

          I don’t want to get in on the whole “How much Fallout 3 sucks”-discussion, but you do know that we are allowed to compare games from different years, right? A game being released later than another doesn’t in in any way give it an unfair advantage, unless your evaluation of them is mostly based on how many graphics they have or something like that.

          • Warped655 says:

            Except that, generally, a lot of gameplay mechanics have been refined over the years as well. So no, comparing a old game to a new game isn’t always fair. Though the difference of only 3 years is questionable and then there is the fact that the original Deus Ex and System Shock 2 came out long before FO3 which are arguably better designed gameplay-wise. However, I still like FO3 quite a lot and can’t understand how someone could authentically hate the game. That baffles me. Like, I can understand thinking other games are better, but FO3 is far from being shit.

  9. Surlywombat says:

    If this guy doesn’t have a job in marketing he should get one out of this. He got the whole gaming internet talking about Fallout again.

    • Bull0 says:

      Well, very briefly, about how there was this obvious hoax going on.

    • Perkelnik says:

      And Bethesda should be actually grateful because Im sure this whole thing boosted Fallout sale numbers during recent sales.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Kinda sad it didn’t turnout out to be some 2d shooter. Then Bethesda would have to go all rage’y they didn’t said a word, making that shooter get all the coverage and boost it sales over the roof (seeing how before this action nobody would buy it, while after it it would find few buyers, that’s still over the roof :P ).

  10. Kubrick Stare Nun says:

    When Bethesda announce Fallout 4 for real people ain’t going to believe it. hahaha

  11. DeviroVerity says:

    This guy is a ‘Yes man’. I was wondering when were we going to get one in the gaming. Please continue doing pranks in the name of raising questions. Next target: Half-Life 3.

    • Werthead says:

      That was already done a couple of months ago: HALF-LIFE 3 and SHENMUE 3 were both trademarked in the same way FO4 was. However, in both those cases Valve and Sega shot down the rumours pretty quickly.

      The FO4 thing only went on as long as it did and got the traction it did because Bethesda didn’t say, “No, it’s not us,” on the second day, which would have saved everyone a lot of time and trouble (and this dude a lot of money).

  12. GallonOfAlan says:

    The sense of entitlement that gamers have never ceases to amaze.

    • Emeraude says:

      The sense of entitlement that people have never ceases to amaze.

      Amended.

      Some people even go so far as to believe they have rights. That’s how mad the world is.

      • Ergates_Antius says:

        I don’t really see how that applies in this particular case. Rights to what?

    • Kubrick Stare Nun says:

      The lack of consideration of the industry amazes me too. I mean, come on, why can’t they just cut the crap and reveal if they are working on the game or not? Not even talking of this specific game, but… geez… do I want to know when rockstar is going to release GTA5 for PC.

      • RedViv says:

        Anticipation is a powerful thing for the shareholder-driven market (still elsewhere, but here the most). If you announce something too early, people will not be kept at the edge of their seats, thrilled to hear just what the heck might be going on behind the doors of the development studio.
        Once they know, you will be forced to initiate a trickling process of handing out information, which requires quite a bit of planning.

    • PopeRatzo says:

      The sense of entitlement that gamers have never ceases to amaze.

      Yeah, right? I mean, they’re just the ones paying for the whole fucking industry. Why should they have any say in what gets made and what doesn’t?

      They don’t realize that the John Galts who run Bethesda are doing them all a favor by allowing them to buy a game.

      • GallonOfAlan says:

        You’re right – there’s no other way that Bethesda would know that people want Fallout 4, or Valve Half-Life 3. It’s not like they could do anything crazy like market research or assumptions based on the wild success of the predecessor.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        You, sir, win the internets for the day.

      • All is Well says:

        But we don’t “pay for the whole industry”. We pay for individual products and/or services – they make games, and we buy them. Whatever company we buy them from certainly have the obligation to make sure they aren’t outright faulty or deviate significantly from what can be expected of them (e.g. are really bad), but they don’t have an obligation to us outside of that. Why would they? Why do Bethesda owe you Fallout 4?

      • Damien Stark says:

        That “reasoning” (a rather generous term for it) is like the people who get pulled over for a speeding ticket and complain to the cops about how “my tax dollars pay your salary! you should do what I want!”

        Yes, by definition “gamers pay for the gaming industry”, in the same sense that all customers pay for whatever industry they purchase products from. But as a customer, you’re only entitled to some pretty specific things. If I purchase a doodad, I’m entitled to a working doodad, a refund if it’s faulty, and compensation if the doodad causes me harm. Not much else.

        I am certainly NOT entitled to force my local grocer to change their hours of operation or dictate their advertisement and marketing plans just because “as a grocery customer I pay for your whole industry!”

        You perfectly demonstrate the sort of entitlement that plagues gamer culture. Other industries don’t seem to suffer this ludicrous perception that “I pay for your whole industry so I’m entitled to control what you do!”

  13. ukpanik says:

    “because the Internet turns human beings into complete psychopaths”

    It certainly does…I know of one psychopath that used his time, energy and money on a make-believe game.
    The weirdo.

  14. Shuck says:

    “Hoax” isn’t quite the right word for it – the site never made any assertions, much less any that turned out to be incorrect. A fan-made teaser (advertising) site is what it is. That some people might hope it’s something else is another issue.

  15. PopeRatzo says:

    Yeah, god forbid Bethesda actually give people what they want. They too busy with corporate synergy and team building and belt-tightening and right-sizing to make an effin’ game? Maybe if they take a break from trying to screw each and every employee out of any possibility of health benefits they might have time work on a dog skin texture or something.

    • Volcanu says:

      Oh grow up.

      I would rather wait for a great Fallout 4 than have a mediocre Fallout 4 now. Activision are (with some justification) crucified for churning out yearly iterations of COD which do nothing new. These are hugely popular yes, but have led to formula fatigue for many people, especially those who played COD from the first game.

      Don’t you have any patience with the notion that a good publisher might want to delay development until the technology is in place for them to be able to fulfill their vision for a game? For all we know, they may be working on a new game engine first, something that takes time. Honestly, Id rather have Fallout 4 in a new and properly fit for purpose engine, than another title in the gamebryo engine where only the setting and plot of the game are different.

      Games, like films, books and music are not just any other product. They are an artisitc endeavour – you cant just snap your fingers and have them delivered to you like clockwork. Not if you want something great.

    • Werthead says:

      It’s only been two years since SKYRIM came out; SKYRIM itself wasn’t announced until closer to three years into development, when Bethesda knew it would be out a year later. On that basis, we could expect a FO4 announcement (assuming it is their next game, which is still not proven) in the next six months to a year. But Bethesda certainly aren’t taking the mickey by not having announced it so far.

      If this whole thing had blown up over HALF-LIFE 3 it would be more understandable. Considering the size and scale of its games, Bethesda actually releases them on a fairly aggressive schedule (which may be also why they’re bugged to hell and gone when they do come out, but still).

    • Shuck says:

      Game companies don’t just sit on franchises that sell well – they either drive those franchises into the ground with sequels or go out of business before they have a chance to do so. Of course they’ve been working on a sequel. I suspect serious development started happening on Fallout 4 after Skyrim shipped, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t some people working on it even before that.

  16. DrScuttles says:

    He spent how much? To get Bethesda to confirm the bleeding obvious? Honestly I never even looked at the site when reading about it here; I like Fallout, though Bethesda is by far my least preferred flavour of it, and I’ll buy Fallout 4 regardless of the usual early videogames promo bollocks that seems to surround most big budget games.
    Hmm, that comes across as more grumpy than I intended.

  17. lordfrikk says:

    It’s really curious that we often get to complain about endless sequels and the publishers milking their franchises ad nausea, but then a well-received franchise doesn’t get another sequel for some bizarre reason. It’s not like the games would follow in such a rapid succession and cause sequel fatigue or something…

    • Shuck says:

      They are, without a doubt, working on a sequel. That they bought the franchise rights after licensing them to make Fallout 3 proves their intentions on that score.

  18. waltC says:

    FO:3, FONV; been there, done that–still doing them with mods, and still enjoying them (especially how much better the graphics are in New Vegas with the texture packs.) Between them both I’ve seen enough ADA (Apocalyptic Doom Aftermath) to last me. For FO:4, I’d like to see the calendar advanced by, say, 500 years, and have it take place in a greening, growing, thriving, back-from-the-ashes civilization full of technical marvels and mutant atrocities, lost cities and countries, etc. The tapestry is endless in possibility–let’s move beyond the ADA (who likes dentists, anyway?)

    (P.S. Your chances are much better at decoding that last remark if you’re an American…;))

  19. LordNeidhart says:

    Welp, time to install New Vegas again

  20. Nick says:

    Oh, well, what a waste of money.

    (much like Fallout 3! BAZINGA!)

  21. pancakeru says:

    If not much else he did highlight the amount of anticipation for Fallout 4. That will at least make those senior execs at bethesda a little more moist in their money lined crevices.