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Fallout 4: Teaser site or hoax?

by Greg Belfrage

Fans of the Fallout video game series have been anxiously hoping for a release of Fallout 4. However, Bethesda Softworks, the developer of Fallout, is keeping mum about any new games in the series.

Bethesda's silence is driving fans crazy, since there's been a lot of recent attention on a website called Survivor 2299. The site appears to be teasing Fallout 4, as it uses the logo from Vault-Tec Industries. The site features an encrypted message, countdown timer and a Morse code message. 

Some of the geeks over at Reddit quickly cracked the encryption. The most recent message on the site, displayed above, has been translated to say...

"I AM SORRY TO INFORM YOU, BUT I’M AFRAID THEY’RE DEAD. YOUR LIFE SUPPORT SYSTEM IS JUST FINE. WELCOME TO THE INSTITUTE. THE ONLY SAFE PLACE TO BE IN THIS WORLD.” 
There was a VT199 page within the Survivor 2299 website yesterday that contained the following...
OVERRIDING PROTOCOL VT-15812 WITH KEY ’7667′
UNKNOWN ENEMY DETECTED

However, today the same page displays a 404 message with the Vault-Tec Industries logo.

Bethesda has refused to confirm or deny whether Survivor 2299 is legitimate, so fans are left to speculate whether it's real or a hoax. In either case, Bethesda wins. 

Keeping their mouths shut is a stroke of marketing brilliance. If Bethesda admits the site is a legitimate reveal, the excitement is over. If they admit the site is a hoax, the excitement is over. Their silence insures that fans will be kept in a state of suspense.

There's another site that also seems to be teasing the release of Fallout 4. 

Visitors to Vault of the Future are greeted with wailing air raid sirens and the following graphic...

Are these websites real teasers or simply a hoax? 

Nobody knows for certain, although conventional wisdom among the gaming sites seems to be that this is all an elaborate hoax.

Personally, I'm not so skeptical. It's very possible Bethesda is behind one of the teaser sites. Perhaps they're behind both of them, which would be a stroke of genius. Creating two teaser sites really creates the impression that one or the other, or both, are fake. It's a perfect way to create buzz and controversy.

In the meantime, fans are left to speculate about the future of Fallout 4. 

UPDATE 9:40pm 12/6/13...

Survivor 2299 was a hoax. The encrypted messages are gone and replaced with the following message:

"That's its tunnel snakes.
Special thanks to /r/Fallout the most amazing community on Reddit"

Since Survivor 2299 is a phony... its a good bet Vault of the Future is bogus, too.

Greg Belfrage is an avid Star Trek fan, serious Batman toy collector and hopeless geek. He can be contacted at greg.belfrage@mwcradio.com.