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Fallout 4 Survivor2299 an elaborate hoax?

30 Nov 2013  by   Paul Younger
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Update: As the ‘Nuclear Winter’ countdown approached zero, the site began going up and down. It’s now back with an additional 12 hours on the timer, putting the ‘reveal’ at around 3.30am Eastern US time or 12.30am Pacific. That seems pretty unlikely, and adds something new to the ‘fake’ column.

Update 2: The countdown now appears to be back on track for (at the time of writing) seven minutes time. Very odd indeed.

Update 3: A new coded message on the site keeps the game going a little longer: KVNGR REV ALPHA PPS VT PIZ UHMYLPVOQ CM XHWMZP. NBJB SPI’F BYQS QT D’Y BYFGEOB FI VQDYL MAQ. -NGQHT 5120- Nuclear winter has come.  Message has been decoded.

Original story follows…

For the past few weeks the Fallout community has been glued to the survivor2299.com website in the hope that it’s a marketing campaign for Fallout 4.

Since the site appeared it has been throwing out messages for the community to decipher, whether it be cryptic text messages or playing Morse code to be deciphered. There’s no doubt about it, we’ve all had a lot of fun deciphering the messages and speculating what they could mean.

But is this all an elaborate hoax? That’s the real question, because Bethesda has refused to comment on the legitimacy or otherwise of this supposed Fallout 4 teaser campaign.

Let’s take a look at the evidence so far.

  • 14 November – A member of the Reddit community discovers the survivor2299.com website which is broadcasting a Morse code message which translates to the date of 11 December 2013.
  • 14 November – EU Trademark discovered
  • 21 November – A phone number appears in a message which reads “Nuclear winter is coming. Reserve your future home today! 877-260-2299″ When called it plays the Tranquility Land music and more morse code. Line apparently goes dead after a few hours.
  • 21 November – site’s Morse code changes again and when deciphered translates to “Calling any station. Calling any station. Calling any station. This is OZ. Please stand by”.
  • 22 November – New message on the site is deciphered to read “MY DEAR SISTER. I’M HEADING TO THE INSTITUTE. GOD KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS PLACE NOW. THIS OLD BASTARD WILL HELP US. HE MUST HELP US. –0321–”
  • 22 November  – Site message changes to “Nuclear winter is coming. Reserve your future home today! ###PERMISSION DENIED BY OVERSEER (15334) ###”
  • 23 November – New site message reads “The quabbin reservoir is seven zero four two two nine nine” and “one two two seven two zero one three || one one two five two zero one three” which is two dates used to desipher the next code reveal.
  • 25 November – “Nuclear winter is coming in 6days 11h 41m 25s (counting down)” and “Bridgeport, this is Concord (MA), message: Quabbin Reservoir is hit, repeat, Quabbin Reservoir is hit” appear.
  • 26 November – New morse message translates to “NCRA UNIT BST 314 7 EMRG MSG NEW YORK STAGE 7 WASHINGTON STAGE 7 LOS ANGELES STAGE 7 AUSTIN STAGE 7 CHICAGO STAGE 7 NEW ORLEAN STAGE 7 LAS VEGAS UNKNOWN MIAMI STAGE 7 DALLAS STAGE 7 DENVER STAGE 7 SAN DIEGO STAGE 7 SAN FRANCISCO STAGE 7 BOSTO”
  • 27 November – More code translates to “Calling any station, Calling any station, Calling any station. Boston is gone, repeat, Boston is gone. No Hope. Frequency 3450 Return Transmission. Goodbye America.”
  • 28 November – EU trademark appears to be fake.

Since Thanksgiving the site has seen no action (possibly due to Bethesda/ZeniMax US offices being shut for the holiday?,) which has fans still wondering what will happen when that first clock ticks down to zero in just over 24 hours time.

During this period of weekend silence we’ve received a few “tip-off” messages which have stated that when the countdown hits zero the site will be revealed to be a hoax, and that this has been put together by a member of the Fallout community for “fun.” It has not been possible to confirm the evidence we’ve been sent is 100% legitimate, but from what we have seen it does beg the question whether this whole campaign has been elaborate hoax, and a well executed one on at that.

Based on what we have posted in the previous weeks and the information that’s appeared on the survivor2299 site, do you think that this has been a legitimate marketing campaign or something that’s been created by an over-enthusiastic member of the Fallout community? Cast your vote…

[yop_poll id="12"]

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  1. Avatar of
    SLowrAM
    -12

    Either way I would bet the farm that no way a full version (not dlc or tablet) is coming out in the next 15 days. Too big a title to not get at least a months worth of press coverage in advance and too odd of timing to come out so soon after console launch and not to have instead been a console launch title. Hopefully it’s coming next year, I’d be amazed if it’s this year. In some ways it will be better if it’s next year as that probably means better graphics as I expect it to be a console launch and would then very likely have focused on better graphics for the new consoles.

    November 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm
    1. Avatar of
      sorudo
      +4

      that assumption is flawed in so many ways, just because we just now know about the game doesn’t mean the game has to be released next year for better graphics.
      it’s really not the graphics ppl care about, plenty of modders love to play around with it anyway, it’s about the gameplay and the story behind it.
      also, just because it’s short after a console release doesn’t mean it has to be a console release, PC releases and PC-only games really don’t have a release just because of the console, it’s more likely a release because they feel it’s done.
      better yet, if it has a console launch with a PC launch later on then you can set your time right that plenty of vets are not gonna buy the console version, they know the older 2 games and they know that the PC version is going to be superior in every aspect.
      Bethesda knows this to, they know it’s stupid to release a game this famous on a console while the PC version sells allot better.

      December 1, 2013 at 12:10 am

    2. Leroy Dankins
      +13

      Sir, are you ill in the head? Obviously nobody thinks the actual game is going to be released this year. We’re hoping for an official announcement of the game in the coming days. And then the game would likely be released next fall or winter.

      December 1, 2013 at 4:04 am
  2. +9

    If it’s a hoax I’m mighty impressed with the hoaxer and jealous he has so much time on his hands to fanny about.

    If it’s legit, hats off to Bethesda for creating such intrigue and claiming column inches prior to their announcement.

    December 1, 2013 at 2:56 am
  3. Avatar of
    Dat Dude
    +3

    This website has been very helpful with keeping me up with, witch is why I just signed up, but lets get to the topic at hand.

    Lets say the timer goes out and nothing happens obviously most will be very disappointed with me along them but we have to assume that even if its not Bethesda they have someone looking at it when the timer goes out and nothing happens whose to say that Bethesda wont take advantage of all this publicity and make a announcement for Fallout 4.

    This is my personal theory with all that’s happened I guess we will have to wait until that timer goes out to now for certain. Please do tell me if this is improbable if so why?

    December 1, 2013 at 8:20 am
    1. +2

      They could do that but knowing how publishers are I don’t think they will.

      December 1, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    2. AtenAnge
      +2

      I looked at the source code of the page and it looks incredibly simple.

      The body is plain text associated with CSS, but it calls some unused JavaScript controls. These controls are: a) Google Analytics, so the publisher is looking for some quick promotion and is looking closely at how many people are seeing the page, b) this is used in the page… the countdown function and from what I gather from the code, it may be a video link, and c) an age verification function. Whoever published this is looking for a huge audience, and they’re doing a great job at finding one.

      I don’t see why a hoax would include all of these things, so I’m gonna go with you on this one. Whatever it is, we have nine days some odd hours before we find out!

      December 2, 2013 at 4:20 am

  4. AlphaTango101
    +2

    You couldn’t be more wrong though. Let’s just look at the sales figures for New Vegas for example. PC = 0.99m copies sold, PS3 = 2.54m copies sold and Xbox 360 = 3.45m copies sold. Now that has been said yes the PC version is better, higher quality graphics and mods. Unfortunately due to the high level of piracy of games on PC, console users will always get games like Fallout and The Elder Scrolls because they make money. If you were to start making Fallout PC only the series would be scrapped. As you can see from above the Xbox sales make up nearly half the total sales of the game.

    Also you saying they would bring out a game on pure hype and no solid marketing is absurd and that’s the real flawed argument here. We haven’t had a trailer or a date for release and throwing the game out now is too much of a gamble without anything behind it. We haven’t even got solid evidence the game is real yet. It’ll come next year, or the year after if this turns out to be true.

    December 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    1. Eman7602
      +1

      But fallout originally started on pc?

      December 1, 2013 at 6:17 pm

  5. bobdaz
    +5

    This cloak n dagger bullshit is really starting to get on my tits!!

    December 1, 2013 at 12:14 pm

  6. bobdaz
    +4

    Iv’e been playing da shit out Skyrim lately…N now it’s starting 2 piss me off! I start thinking ohh what will fallout4 be like running on this engine?!
    Bethseda make great games but them tight lipped bastards r driving me nuts!!!
    just announce something already!!
    Rant over..fellow Vault Dwellers

    December 1, 2013 at 12:28 pm
  7. Avatar of
    sorudo
    -1

    ask your self this, has it bin 11 december yet, no?
    then stop being impatient, the date is right there, wait for the date before raging the hype wagon again.

    December 1, 2013 at 3:31 pm
  8. +2

    Hype Train arrives in five hours! For Nuclear Winter at least.

    December 1, 2013 at 3:37 pm

  9. Lorien

    Seems people are very eager to find out what the deal(refreshing) is or they are updating the page as at this time it states that the page caanot load

    December 1, 2013 at 7:07 pm
  10. Avatar of
    Namik

    Well I still remember http://www.aliennoire.com/ and supposed Prey 2 announcement. So I’m kinda sceptical.

    December 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm
  11. We have been shown some stuff that indicates it’s a hoax but we can not verify this 100% but it makes for some interesting reading. If it does go dark, which is what’s happening now, we will post an update based on what was slipped out way. Of course we are hoping that the info we were sent is wrong and the game will be announced.

    December 1, 2013 at 7:39 pm
    1. It’s thesurvivor2299.com

      December 1, 2013 at 7:50 pm

  12. Austin

    The website has been shut down for me…. can anyone explain?

    December 1, 2013 at 7:54 pm

  13. CJ

    it hasn’t been shut down for me, i don’t understand i’ve been hearing this a lot thought..

    December 1, 2013 at 8:51 pm

  14. Feannag

    At about 40 minutes left on the “nuclear winter” counter, another 12 hours were added. Something’s seriously not right here.

    @Austin and CJ – the site’s been up and down for the last couple hours.

    December 1, 2013 at 9:04 pm

  15. CJ

    @Feannag….Yah thats crazy i just refreshed, how could someone possibly fuck with us this much?…this is worse than Y2K… fuuuck

    December 1, 2013 at 9:14 pm

  16. CJ

    …and another thing i just realised, why would the day timer reset to 12 instead of 24h?

    December 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm
  17. Avatar of
    Namik

    So one countdown shows “Nuclear winter is coming in 12h 13m 38s” second one “10 11:38:38″.

    December 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm

  18. Feannag

    Both timers are going all screwy. Somehow the “nuclear winter” countdown lost that extra 12 hours. Six minutes… or not…

    December 1, 2013 at 9:29 pm

  19. Calin

    Does it actually have another 12 hours added on to it? Because I’ve seen the site going up and down throughout the day (due to me being WAAAAY too excited for this and keeping it minimized in the background, refreshing every now and then), but mine does not have an extra 12 hours on it, and is about to end in about 5 minutes. what gives?

    December 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

  20. CJ

    something fuckey is going on with the clocks, look at the time you posted your comments up there ^^^^

    December 1, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    1. Calin

      I noticed that too. I know for a fact that it is not 9:30 at the moment ._.

      December 1, 2013 at 9:33 pm
  21. Avatar of
    Peter Parrish

    Countdown got back on track and the site now has the following new code on it: KVNGR REV ALPHA PPS VT PIZ UHMYLPVOQ CM XHWMZP. NBJB SPI’F BYQS QT D’Y BYFGEOB FI VQDYL MAQ. -NGQHT 5120- Nuclear winter has come

    Fake or not, the game continues for a little while longer (I have no idea how to decode that.)

    December 1, 2013 at 9:48 pm

  22. Bryan A.

    A new Morse Code was added. So far it reads ( CQ CQ CQ DE OVS 119 EMRG EN UNKN SOS SOS SOS VT 119 QBN 7667 II SOS SOS SOS VT 119 QBN EN UNKN )

    From what I could Decode it reads ( Calling all sations x3 From Overseer 119. Emergency EN (enemy?) Unknown. Save our Souls x3 Vault 119 Quabin Basin 7667 I Repeat Save our Souls x3 Vault 119 Quabin Bassin EN Unkown )

    December 1, 2013 at 10:32 pm

  23. Greger2k13

    THE INSTITUTE IS SEALED. THEY WON’T HELP US I’M HEADING TO BLACK ROW. -TBNLS 5120-

    KVNGR REV ALPHA PPS VT is the instructions

    KVNGR = Keyed Vigenere
    REV ALPHA = Reversed alphabet
    PPS VT = Passphrase vaulttec

    December 1, 2013 at 10:35 pm

  24. Feannag

    Cipher- THE INSTITUTE IS SEALED. THEY WON’T HELP US I’M HEADING TO BLACK ROW. -TBNLS 5120-

    Morse- Calling all stations, calling all stations, calling all stations. This is Overseer of Vault 119. Emergency. Unknown enemy. SOS SOS SOS. Vault 119. Quabbin. 7667

    December 1, 2013 at 10:37 pm

  25. BathoryGhoul
    +1

    You know,,,when a nuke goes off,it cause a massive EMP which disrupts or fries active electricak devices,,,maybe the clock glitches and website issues were an attempt to simulate that,,,,just sayin

    December 2, 2013 at 1:34 am
    1. +1

      That would be super cunning if that was the cased but I think it’s more likely the web server just got overloaded.

      December 2, 2013 at 4:54 am

  26. Chuck

    The trail is really similar to what bethesda uses, the ideal that the next game is in said to be set in boston and the bethesda team visited there not too long ago (unless I mixed something up a bit. One major key is the site itself contains a trademarked symbol to bethesda and it’s outlying companie. My bet would be on the 11th (the countdown is currently 9 days 17 hours (not exact) meaning 9 days and 17 hours from december 1st 8:20 PM)of december there is going to be a release of something fallout related, not necessarily fallout 4, but something that is fallout related.

    December 2, 2013 at 3:22 am

  27. Jess

    Have any of you gone to vault119.com? It’s incredibly simple and kinda suspicious as to if its legit or not, but when you enter your email, it tells you your information is held in the strictest confidence. I’m not sure what to make of this.

    December 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm

  28. MorningLM

    The site is registered by “IT Dept” at Zenimax Media Inc which suggests that it’s real.

    December 4, 2013 at 1:51 pm

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