Who fell for the Fallout 4 hoax this time?

fenway fallout

It might be time for a Fallout 4 release hoax meme.

Never mind the Half-Life 3 meme and the ongoing joke about whether that game will ever be released. It’s time for a Fallout 4 meme, because this is getting ridiculous.

Rumors circulated Wednesday on Reddit that Bethesda Softworks, developers of the Elder Scrolls and Fallout RPG franchises, had filed a trademark for Fallout: Shadow of Boston in the German Patent and Trademark Office. The proposed game title alone should have been the first clue that something was suspicious about this copyright filing. The chances of Bethesda dropping the numeral from the title of the next Fallout game are pretty slim.

The trademark filing was actually a fake—because of course it was—which Bethesda confirmed today on Twitter.

This is eerily familiar to something that happened late last year, when a despondent Fallout fan dying for news on Fallout 4 put together a website called “The Survivor 2299.” The website featured Fallout iconography and had a countdown clock, which was enough to set off rampant speculation that a Fallout 4 announcement was on the way. The perpetrator hoped to force Bethesda’s hand into saying something about development on the game.

The website was actually a fake—because of course it was—which Bethesda also confirmed on Twitter, last year.

Gamers got angry at Bethesda for both of these hoaxes, because people are so desperate for news about Fallout 4. Then:

And now:

Rumors have circulated for years that the next Fallout will be set in Boston, based on whispered sightings of Bethesda employees scouting MIT because the university owns a nuclear reactor. Kotaku reported on script sheets that were purportedly for the next Fallout game, based on references to the Commonwealth, or the remnants of New England in Fallout’s alternate future, post nuclear war timeline. The fact that the opening voiceover in that script is read by the player’s character, and not Ron Perlman as is traditional, makes the authenticity of those documents dubious, as well.

All this Fallout 4 speculation reminds us of the pair of marketing interns raising money for a campaign to inspire Valve to say something about the development of Half-Life 3, inasmuch as there’s a sense of desperation lying underneath. We eagerly await someone kicking off the Fallout 4 meme in earnest.

Photo via redjar/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0) and United States Department of Energy (Public Domain) | Remix by Fernando Alfonso III

Dennis Scimeca

Dennis Scimeca

Dennis Scimeca was the Daily Dot's gaming reporter until 2016. He loves first-person shooters, role-playing games, and massively multiplayer online games. His work has appeared in Salon, NPR, Ars Technica, Kotaku, Polygon, Gamasutra, GamesBeat, Paste, and Mic.