For the past few weeks, our tips inbox has been overflowing with messages about Fallout 4, which everyone assumes will be the next game from the talented folks at Bethesda Game Studios.
The hypothetical next Fallout game is getting a lot of attention on sites like Reddit because of a teaser website called thesurvivor2299.com (warning: annoying beeping sounds). People have dug into the website's source code, putting together all sorts of coded messages and theorising that Bethesda will announce Fallout 4 at Spike's annual awards show this December, where new games are often unveiled and teased. Bethesda announced Skyrim at the Spike VGAs — now called the VGX — in 2010.
People are really excited for the next Fallout. Which is great! But let's not get our hopes up too high just yet...
While Bethesda could very well announce Fallout 4 at the Spike VGX on December 7, I don't think this teaser website is real. In fact, there are a few convincing reasons it's fake:
1. The site is counting down to the wrong date. When TheSurvivor2299 launched last month, we didn't know when Spike's big awards show would fall. Now we know it's on December 7... yet the countdown ends on December 11. Chances are, Bethesda ain't holding a separate announcement just four days after one of the biggest shows in gaming.
2. Bethesda hasn't said a thing. If this was their teaser, don't you think they'd want to embrace it? When I reached out to Bethesda a few days ago to ask what the deal is, the response was: "We aren't making any comment." Considering how much effort seems to have been put into this site, you'd think if it were real, Bethesda would want all of their fans to know about it.
3. Would a professional video game company really put up a teaser website with such an annoying beeping noise? I mean, really?
4. Yes, the domain says it was registered by Bethesda parent company ZeniMax, but there are inconsistencies between this website and other registered Bethesda domains, as this Redditor notes. The server is configured differently, the domain names were registered through GoDaddy instead of ZeniMax's usual service, Corporate Domains Inc, and a reverse lookup on the IP leads you to a company in Poland, oddly enough.
5. People are pointing to Erik Todd Dellums' Twitter teases as proof, but even he doesn't know whether it's real or not. Dellums, the voice actor behind Fallout 3's iconic radio DJ Three-Dog, often tweets teases about the future of the series, but in this case, he doesn't seem to be in the loop.
Veer on the side of caution, people. While the thought of a next-gen Fallout game coming soon is certainly enticing, there are too many red flags here for us to buy this one. And there's no real evidence that it's legit.