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Bethesda about to announce Fallout 4?

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Bethesda about to announce Fallout 4?

Game News - posted by Infinitron on Tue 19 November 2013, 15:49:06

Tags: Bethesda Softworks; Fallout 4

As many of you have probably heard by now, a few days ago, a website by the name of thesurvivor2299.com appeared on the Internet. Its only piece of content was a Morse code audio recording, which spelled out the date "11.12.13". A couple of days later, a timer appeared on the site, counting down to that very date - December 11th, 2013.

There is reason to believe that this website is related to the long-awaited/dreaded announcement of Bethesda's Fallout 4. Rather than regurgitate what others have already discovered about the site, I'll just quote from IncGamers:

A new website, thesurvivor2299.com, registered to ZeniMax has been spotted online by the perpetually web-combing eyes of Reddit. There are clues galore that this site relates to a forthcoming Fallout announcement (most likely Fallout 4, or whatever they end up calling it.)

Let us go over the relevant hints:
  • Registered to ZeniMax (publishers of Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.)
  • The date 2299 would place the game around 15-20 years after the events of New Vegas (while Fallout 3 was late 2270s.)
  • As figured out by Reddit, the Morse code playing on the page spells out 11.12.13. Since 12 November has already passed, that’s probably referring to the European style date system and saying 11 December. The Spike Video Game Awards always air in mid-December, so that may well be when this project is revealed more fully.
  • The site contains a script called fallout.js (again, thanks to Reddit for that one.)
Rather convincing stuff, there. Now, hopefully it really is a proper Fallout sequel and not an iPhone game/free to play MMO/terrible MOBA. I’d love another Fallout game developed by Obsidian, but since they’re busy doing South Park and Project Eternity it’ll probably be Bethesda doing the honours again.

Update: The site now has an actual countdown on it, corresponding to the 11 December as a reveal date. Our excellent commentators have also pointed out further clues found within the site’s code, such as mp3 radio clips named after Bridgeport, CT and Fall River, MA and links to hidden images pointing at prepareforthefuture.com (which redirects to the official Fallout site.)
Seems like a sure thing, right? Well, The Vault cautions skepticism:

It does seem similar to how Fallout 3 was teased, though remember the following things to consider before claiming it's the next coming of Fallout:
  • The countdown script is referred to as bscountdown.js. BS is a well known acronym for, well, bullshit.
  • Pinging the domain name used to resolve to the IP 5.131.13.121, which is a Polish server belonging to ViBiznes, a hosting company not used by ZeniMax or Bethesda. Currently it resolves to 199.15.249.30, which is a server belonging to a Baltimore hosting company, not on any IP belonging to the ZeniMax Media company.
    • However, pinging stream.thesurvivor2299.com resolves to 199.107.64.171, an IP owned by ZeniMax Media Inc.
  • The presence of Polish names for script variables inside the website code also indicates this may very well be a very convincing fake. Though highly unlikely, it might also mean that it was outsourced to a Polish company.
  • ZeniMax does not use GoDaddy for domain registration. They rely on the services of CSC Corporate Domains, Inc.
  • The site references assets from the defunct Prepare for the Future website, rather than a new domain. Furthermore, it is possible to submit fake registration details while applying for a domain, allowing one to mimic a corporation.
  • Another issue is that the supposed reveal uses the European date format, rather than American (i.e. days are in front of months, not the other way around).
  • There was a 'fallout.js' (JavaScript) as a file reference on the page, but it has been since removed.
  • Looking up the locations on the map, they seem to be centered south and south-west of Boston, which was repeatedly rumored (without any sort of official confirmation) to be the setting of the next Fallout game. However, it should be noted that the distance between Bridgeport and Fall River alone totals 137 miles. The real world distance between the Jefferson Memorial and the western edge of the map in Fallout 3 was about 40-50 miles.
  • The design of the site does not match any known ZeniMax sites, nor does the set up and infrastructure associated with it.
I wouldn't have made this newspost, however, if there wasn't more to the story. Back to IncGamers:

It now appears a Fallout 4 European trademark has been filed, and while this looks exciting, let’s not forget that Half Life 3 European trademark that was filed back at the beginning of last month which turned out to be some sort of elaborate ruse.

Now I’m going to be optimistic here and say this Fallout 4 trademark looks slightly more legit as it’s been filed by DLA Piper who handle all this kind of legal stuff for brands, which is more than just Bethesda being listed as the owner.

The Fallout 4 European trademark is currently under review after being filed on 14 November but that status should change to accepted in the coming days so it’s worth keeping an eye on it. If it miraculously disappears then it was probably some bizarre hoax like the Half Life 3 listing.

Is it happening? It’s looking a lot more likely now. According to the countdown clock there’s 24 days to go until some sort of announcement. If the clock is to believed of course.

There is some speculation that if the game does exist it will be revealed at the VGX awards (previously the VGAs) which are airing around 7 December.​

The Vault is still skeptical, but coupled with Bethesda's mealy-mouthed responses to requests for comment, this all seems like too much of a coincidence to be fake. I guess we'll see what happens in December.

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