A lot of people were taken in, yours truly included. But it turns out Bethesda wasn’t behind the Fallout 4 teaser going viral.
Instead, it was one guy who wanted to “unite” the Fallout subreddit (behind loathing him, we’re guessing.) And honestly, I’d be more annoyed if I weren’t so impressed.
It’s not that people try to engineer fake ARGs; they try it all the time. But it’s usually a shoddy job that, at best, falls apart with a quick whois domain check. This guy was more elaborate, building an entire ARG from the ground up and hiding little references everywhere. Furthermore, PR people are generally fast to put a bullet in these things
More than that, though, he’s got a good feel for the “grammar” of these kinds of things. His pacing, his choices, it really felt like a corporate ARG to announce a game. The only reason this fell apart before the fake trailer he was planning to debut was that Bethesda, which had stayed oddly silent on the topic, finally came out and quashed the rumors. Otherwise, apparently he was going to roll out a full CGI trailer. How good it would have been is an open question, considering he only spent $990 on the whole project, but that’s commitment.
Have faith, Vault explorers; Fallout 4 is likely on the way. We just have to wait a little while longer to know when.