The Fallout 4 Hoaxer Did It Because 'Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn'

"I'm one of these 'selfish bastards with a lot of money,'" he says.

We were all enthralled and excited by thesurvivor2299, a fake viral site that many believed would lead to the ultimate reveal of Fallout 4. News broke over the weekend that it was fake, but most importantly hearts broke when we discovered that a video game sequel we had longed to play remains unrevealed; it's existence unconfirmed.

It was a hoax. An incredible, elaborate hoax.

In a brilliant finale, the hoaxer himself has begun taking question on an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit. His answers are short and sweet but it's still worth reading, to get an inside look at the motivations and decision making of one of the world's greatest trolls. And I use the word 'troll' in the best sense of the word. Bravo man, you fooled the world. Or at least made them curious.

Some of the revelations are interesting.

For example, the hoaxer only stopped once the Bethesda tweet, which went out over the weekend, confirmed that the site was a fake. Bethesda also contacted him regarding the site, but has been keeping quiet on precisely what was said during that conversation.

Perhaps the most interesting part of the AMA was the fact that it actually cost the hoaxer $990 dollars to put the this whole thing together. He had to put a halt to the whole thing early, but apparently the whole exercise was supposed to culminate in a CGI trailer release. The CGI trailer apparently exists, but the hoaxer plans to wait a little while until the heat dies down. He's pissed off Bethesda enough he says.

As to his motivations?

"Some men just want to watch the world burn," he said. "I wanted to force Bethesda to reveal something during VGX/ on 12/11, and bring /r/Fallout community together (for at least 3 weeks) Unfortunately, this plan Failed."

Oh, and at time of writing he's apparently had 14 death threats.

Good luck buddy and godspeed.

Uhm, Hello? I'm the Prick behind thesurvivor2299. AMA? [Reddit]


Comments

    people who like to brag they have a lot of money, invariably don't have as much as they pretend to.

    These sorts of pranks are just a waste of time, I feel sorry for the people that invest heavily into them, but maybe just maybe, they should concentrate that energy into something else that's more productive.

      Since when has $990 US been a lot of money, or an indicator that some one has a lot of money?

        huh, not every sane person wastes that type of money for nothing, therefore its not a stretch to presume he has a lot of money

        sure sounds like a lot of money to me, I can think of a lot of things I could use it on, none of them would involve wasting it on a failed personal publicity stunt, with nothing to show for it. Most people dont spend that sort of money of something so bloody stupid.

          I don't know about stupid. He got the gaming worlds attention. Imagine if someone did this for a game that was unlikely to get made. It sure as hell would make the publishers ears prick up and reconsider its viability.

          If Fallout 4 wasn't a sure thing (which it is), it would be money very well spent. In the grand scheme of things $1,000 isn't much cash to spend for that sort of outcome, and if he was actually rich, well spending $1,000 doesn't really demonstrate that.

            Maybe if he gets the money back, but if you are out of pocket $1000 just to push a publisher to make a game.... Then you lead a sad boring rich life. If you spend $1000 knowing you wont get anything in return (besides charity) then it is stupid.

        Well, if you don't think it's that much and something you can spend frivolously on a prank then I will be more than glad to take it off your hands.

      He's not saying he has a 'lot' of money. He's saying he has the disposable income to be able to do something like this.

      Define productive, and how video games are in any way an example of that. Looking at it from one point of view, he just spent three weeks and a grand for international attention, conversation, and humor. From his POV, we are the game. Like art or sport or games, things like this may not be inherently 'productive' in the current popular metric (accumulating more wealth), but it seems a small price to have paid for the return he got back.

        I think he got pretty good value for money given the coverage. Most advertisers would kill for that sort of exposure for tens of millions of dollars.

    I'm amazed at how devastated I am that it was just a hoax, considering how much I was telling myself to not get excited because it was probably fake. I guess deep down I just really wanted it to be true :(

    I'm one of those weird people that waits for the actual developers and/or publishers to talk about a game before I get excited... People like this make me sick. Why would you do anything like that at all? He must be very bored.

      Because wanting to watch the internet clamor around in frenzy trying to figure out your prank must mean your bored. I'd say it's very amusing. Do just assume anyone who creates amusement for themselves must be very bored?

      You saw the reaction right? People thinking it was real. It being featured on many games news sites. That's why he did it.

      "I wouldn't do it so no one in the world EVER would."

      Dumbest logic ever.

        Yep. It was truly dumb of me, now that I step back and look at it. I just really don't see the point. Whatever makes you hard I guess.

    I could see myself doing something like this if I ever had the time and money.

    This is amazing. I'm shattered that there's no Fallout 4, but considering this was all done by one guy, I'm actually more impressed than anything. May he be crowned Troll of the Year.

    Still, if people are giving him death threats (for reals), then they need to get a life.

    Last edited 09/12/13 9:30 am

    Unlike @phlaiman above I wouldn't do this even if I had the time and money :P If I had that I'd go and learn properly how to create a decent mod or even my own game and do that instead.

    The only thing I'm surprised about is that it took Bethesda what? 2, 3 weeks before they did or said anything? It's not like this was hidden away in some corner on the internet, this was all over basically every gaming site and loads of people were commenting and linking about it on their Facebook, Twitter and one or two on their blog. Unless they announce something relatively soonish Bethesda have gone down a notch in my eyes

      Free publicity I guess. This dude spent $900 and had every gaming site talking about Bethesda and their game that doesn't exist yet. The likelyhood that they will eventually make Fallout 4 is 100% (because being a company, they obviously like money and want more of it), so why would they possibly turn down all of this free hype so soon?

      They probably would have gone down even more notches if their PR department blurted that there was no Fallout 4 developments before checking with every department responsible for Fallout developments.

      if they do announce something they will have gone down a notch in my eyes, I'd be very dissapointed if bethesda bent down to the will of a guy like this and actually announced something as if at his beck and call.

      I mean, I want fallout 4 probably more then the next guy but this guy tried to force them into revealing something before it was ready, that's a dick move in my books and shouldn't be rewarded.

        But lets face it 'before they're ready' means keep it a secret until it's done then drip feeding us with obnoxious teasers. They go through all this effort to keep stuff secret so they can announce that duh, they're making another entry in the extremely popular Fallout series, in a similar fashion to what this guy did. What made it all so believable was that there was no substance to it at all. It was a huge production number apparently setting up a single sentence 'we are making Fallout 4,' which is exactly what we've come to expect.

        Is it really going to kill anything if they admit they're making a new Fallout game? Avengers didn't go down the crapper because we all knew it was coming. They wouldn't even have to up the ante on teaser material. When they're ready to start rolling on PR they can still release promotional stills and start pre-announcement countdowns to exciting milestone announces like 'we are going to be at E3 this year... with two new concept art sketches'.

        That said I do think you're right that they shouldn't announce something just because he did this. I just think that because I think they should have announced it before he did this since it's not something that needs to be kept secret.

    $990 ... if he gets the job it's money well spent

    Oh man. 15TB worth of traffic? On a very bare-bones single-page? I'd be interested to see unique visitor count, but whoa..

    I don't understand why everyone's reacting so much. People do these hoaxes all the time. There never was any evidence his claims were true........

    Everything about this is great. Congrats to the guy.

    I followed this pretty closely and was super psyched thinking it was really real, when I found out it was fake, I had a laugh and thought, even if its fake it was a really great interpretation of where Fallout 4 Might be based! Thoroughly enjoyed, would read again!

    If I worked at Bethesda I'd find his phone number, wait two weeks, then put out a job listing using his phone number for a programmer with experience in both FPS and MMORPG backgrounds. See how funny it is when he has to answer the calls. =P

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