Clever Trolls Prank Half-Life 3 Fans

Clever Trolls Prank Half-Life 3 Fans

This year's April Fools Day jokes get back at a few choice targets in the gaming industry.

It's a sad year when April's Fools Day lands on a Sunday. Here in the States, April 1st is the day when people save their best pranks and practical jokes to play on friends or coworkers. Lately, geek-centric companies like Think Geek or game companies like Blizzard send out jokey press releases for products or services they have no intention of selling. (Until they do). Because the Joke Holiday was on a Sunday this year, the gaming press were saved the deluge of lame attempts at humor from every outlet. We still witnessed a few zingers though, most notably from someone impersonating Valve Software. If you go to the cleverly disguised store.steamppowered.com - with two P's - you'll find a facsimile of the front page of the Steam store with a fake advertisement on the top.

"Now Available!" the advertisement read with the logo for Half-Life 3 beneath it. "The long-awaited final part of the Half-Life saga is now available."

Of course, when you click on the advertisement, you are brought to a page with a simple picture of Gabe Newell looking like the troll-face made popular by 4Chan and Anonymous. The resemblance is quite striking actually.

I have to admit, I was suckered into this fake announcement the first time I saw it, not that Half-Life 3 was actually coming out any time soon but that this joke was from Valve itself. It takes a really smart prankster to have a practical joke work on two levels like that. Well played, Internet. Well played.

On the other side of the world, the Swedes from Paradox Interactive - publishers of Mount & Blade, Magicka and the upcoming War of the Roses - decided to troll a group that was heretofore un-trollable, games journalists. The team at Paradox set up a fake website called Meta-Meta-Critic with the tagline "Who reviews the reviewers?" On it, game journalists are given a review and an average score as if they were the product being criticized. It's a clever send-up of our profession, and I enjoyed the satire of having videogame critics reviewed by the people who make the games.

Our own Editor-in-Chief Steve Butts makes the list of reviewers reviewed on Meta-Meta Critic. "I won't, indeed I can't deny that Steve is an emotional experience ... What we have here is something that simply isn't finished," reads the official review of Steve Butts, but it's the User Review that is the most honest: "I bought Steve several weeks ago and I am absolutely addicted! I play Steve every day, bought the new clothes DLC and I am now admin on the Official Steve Forums."

Unfortunately, Steve Butts has the lowest average score on Meta-Meta Critic with a dismal 71. Sad.

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This is shocking journalism.

SteamPPowered?

It's clearly fan made. You guys shouldn't just get all your news from the gaming forums, times like this can make you look bad.

EDIT If I'm wrong go ahead and say but why would Valve use a different domain which asks you to install a plugin too?

Matthew94:
This is shocking journalism.

SteamPPowered?

It's clearly fan made. You guys shouldn't just get all your news from the gaming forums, times like this can make you look bad.

EDIT If I'm wrong go ahead and say but why would Valve use a different domain which asks you to install a plugin too?

This.

It was awfully well made though, with all the links that linked to the correct steam store page.

nice lets hope theres no malware on the site

can't beleve that the escapist didn't notice this

Oh dears.

Steamppowered?

Dear oh dears Greg.

I mean, that would be a bad April Fools joke, not to the sophistication of God king GabeN and his band of merry devs. Save cockteasing fans for Cartoon Network with Toonami.

Calumon: I miss Fox kids, can we have them back for a night too? And over here in silly posh land?

EDIT!

Okay, so for context in case anyone sees this having no idea what the original post was like, let me clarify. Originally the article ITSELF fell for how it was Steamppowered instead of Steampowered and though that this was Valve trolling themselves. This was not the case an actually a mistake. Article has now been redone to make it accurate and all is right in the world.

Ordinarily I wouldn't bother explaining this, but the first 4 comments look like they were made by raving lunatics otherwise, and I am quite sane. Isn't that right, Calumon?

Calumon: Yeah, why not?

Jack and Calumon:
Oh dears.

Steamppowered?

Dear oh dears Greg.

I mean, that would be a bad April Fools joke, not to the sophistication of God king GabeN and his band of merry devs. Save cockteasing fans for Cartoon Network with Toonami.

Calumon: I miss Fox kids, can we have them back for a night too? And over here in silly posh land?

EDIT!

Okay, so for context in case anyone sees this having no idea what the original post was like, let me clarify. Originally the article ITSELF fell for how it was Steamppowered instead of Steampowered and though that this was Valve trolling themselves. This was not the case an actually a mistake. Article has now been redone to make it accurate and all is right in the world.

Ordinarily I wouldn't bother explaining this, but the first 4 comments look like they were made by raving lunatics otherwise, and I am quite sane. Isn't that right, Calumon?

Calumon: Yeah, why not?

Yeah, the joke was well-made and I fell for it. There's always one April Fools joke that gets me and this was it.

Greg

I didn't even realize that it wasn't Valve behind that prank until this article! Damn it! I thought I made it out of the April Fools without a scrape!

Greg Tito:

Jack and Calumon:
Oh dears.

Steamppowered?

Dear oh dears Greg.

I mean, that would be a bad April Fools joke, not to the sophistication of God king GabeN and his band of merry devs. Save cockteasing fans for Cartoon Network with Toonami.

Calumon: I miss Fox kids, can we have them back for a night too? And over here in silly posh land?

EDIT!

Okay, so for context in case anyone sees this having no idea what the original post was like, let me clarify. Originally the article ITSELF fell for how it was Steamppowered instead of Steampowered and though that this was Valve trolling themselves. This was not the case an actually a mistake. Article has now been redone to make it accurate and all is right in the world.

Ordinarily I wouldn't bother explaining this, but the first 4 comments look like they were made by raving lunatics otherwise, and I am quite sane. Isn't that right, Calumon?

Calumon: Yeah, why not?

Yeah, the joke was well-made and I fell for it. There's always one April Fools joke that gets me and this was it.

Greg

Honestly, the only reason I noticed it was ppowered was because the website looked ever so slightly fuzzy, kinda like those Blizzard spam e-mails do, so I looked at the URL. You really have to look hard to notice it too, so I'm not going go up in arms about "Shoddy journalism" when it was an honest prank.

The best thing to do is not think about April Fools day, wake up, get pranked, then become universally suspicious of everything. Don't even believe what the local news is saying about the devastating storm on the way. The weather man is out to get you.

Calumon: He just likes to go into people's houses and steal their ice cream. :S

I knew it was a prank, but I had no idea it was a fake Valve prank. So, I got pranked by the trollprank ... Clever trolls

Greg Tito:

Unfortunately, Steve Butts has the lowest average score on Meta-Meta Critic with a dismal 71. Sad.

Except that a 71 is still 21 points above the middle of the scale, so he's fine.

This is absolutely sick, and I'm sure it violates the Geneva convention.

Greg Tito:

Unfortunately, Steve Butts has the lowest average score on Meta-Meta Critic with a dismal 71. Sad.

I believe the Escapist will withhold Steve Butts' bonus this year for failing to score higher in the Meta-Meta-Critic.

haha go paradox interactive i love those wacky swedes :D

Setting up fake websites for April Fool's; Soon to be illegal by Arizona State Law.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116620-Internet-Trolls-Face-Jail-in-Arizona

I wont lie, i would have bought several of ThinkGeeks april fools products. When i saw the Dragon Shout hoddie i almost "Squeee'd" with joy.

Dude; that meta-meta critic thing sounds pretty tight.

Let's make it legit...

Oh please, like there's any challenge in pranking the "we want HL3" zombies. Hell, dangle a ball in front of them with HL3 painted on it, tell them it's HL3 product and throw it as hard as you can. Good money says they'll chase it.

Honestly, they're so furiously chomping at the bit for ANYTHING HL3 related that they'll fall for for anything.

kouriichi:
I wont lie, i would have bought several of ThinkGeeks april fools products. When i saw the Dragon Shout hoddie i almost "Squeee'd" with joy.

Put enough of a demand for it and they'll start making it. It's been done before.

LordLundar:
Oh please, like there's any challenge in pranking the "we want HL3" zombies. Hell, dangle a ball in front of them with HL3 painted on it, tell them it's HL3 product and throw it as hard as you can. Good money says they'll chase it.

Honestly, they're so furiously chomping at the bit for ANYTHING HL3 related that they'll fall for for anything.

kouriichi:
I wont lie, i would have bought several of ThinkGeeks april fools products. When i saw the Dragon Shout hoddie i almost "Squeee'd" with joy.

Put enough of a demand for it and they'll start making it. It's been done before.

I know I have my 8-bit tie at home! That one started off as an April fools joke.

That meta-metacritic is actually a really good idea. A shame about Steve's score though...

Hehe.. Witholding bonuses for any journalist who didnt make 80.

Haha! Well played Gabe.

Seriously though, make Half-Life 3.

Jack and Calumon:
Save cockteasing fans for Cartoon Network with Toonami.

I don't think it counts as "teasing." I soiled my pantaloons right after I saw Tom announce the final episode of the Cell Saga immediately following Bleach. That made my night. No offense to Gundam Wing and the rest, but I could have done with a whole night of DBZ.

ReiverCorrupter:

Jack and Calumon:
Save cockteasing fans for Cartoon Network with Toonami.

I don't think it counts as "teasing." I soiled my pantaloons right after I saw Tom announce the final episode of the Cell Saga immediately following Bleach. That made my night. No offense to Gundam Wing and the rest, but I could have done with a whole night of DBZ.

It's teasing for me because I live in the UK. Care to take a guess what country gets Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoon Network Two, Cartoonito but NOT Adult Swim, hence did NOT get Toonami back?

Calumon: Do they make yucky tea and chips? :p

Jack and Calumon:

ReiverCorrupter:

Jack and Calumon:
Save cockteasing fans for Cartoon Network with Toonami.

I don't think it counts as "teasing." I soiled my pantaloons right after I saw Tom announce the final episode of the Cell Saga immediately following Bleach. That made my night. No offense to Gundam Wing and the rest, but I could have done with a whole night of DBZ.

It's teasing for me because I live in the UK. Care to take a guess what country gets Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Cartoon Network Two, Cartoonito but NOT Adult Swim, hence did NOT get Toonami back?

Calumon: Do they make yucky tea and chips? :p

Your Cartoon Network doesn't have Adult Swim? No ATHF or Boondocks or Metalocalypse? That sucks, terribly sorry about that then. From what I recall during my stay in Edinburgh, (we only had BBC 1-5) you can't even access the videos on the adult swim website either.

Raiyan 1.0:

Greg Tito:

Unfortunately, Steve Butts has the lowest average score on Meta-Meta Critic with a dismal 71. Sad.

I believe the Escapist will withhold Steve Butts' bonus this year for failing to score higher in the Meta-Meta-Critic.

Actually, he's going to be fired. He needed four more points to get away with a mere salary wounding.

ReiverCorrupter:
Your Cartoon Network doesn't have Adult Swim? No ATHF or Boondocks or Metalocalypse? That sucks, terribly sorry about that then. From what I recall during my stay in Edinburgh, (we only had BBC 1-5) you can't even access the videos on the adult swim website either.

Oh we get nothing, no web access, no TV channel, nothing. There is no such thing as animation for adults in the UK besides the big ones like South Park, Simpsons, Futurama and anything by Seth McFarlane. Anything else doesn't exist.

Most annoyingly, this includes Anime of pretty much any kind, but I'll reserve this rant for later.

Calumon: I was there when it was all good, but then it went bad somehow... :S

Jack and Calumon:

ReiverCorrupter:
Your Cartoon Network doesn't have Adult Swim? No ATHF or Boondocks or Metalocalypse? That sucks, terribly sorry about that then. From what I recall during my stay in Edinburgh, (we only had BBC 1-5) you can't even access the videos on the adult swim website either.

Oh we get nothing, no web access, no TV channel, nothing. There is no such thing as animation for adults in the UK besides the big ones like South Park, Simpsons, Futurama and anything by Seth McFarlane. Anything else doesn't exist.

Most annoyingly, this includes Anime of pretty much any kind, but I'll reserve this rant for later.

Calumon: I was there when it was all good, but then it went bad somehow... :S

That's awful. If it's any consolation our drinking age is 21. That should at least partially offset things.

Lame.

Steve Butts should have a higher score!

i think it has something to do with his last name being butts and all. you know, mature audience only.

Unfortunately, Steve Butts has the lowest average score on Meta-Meta Critic with a dismal 71. Sad.

I almost didn't catch that. Sarcastic, self-referential social commentary. Smooth.

Come on, how could anyone fall for the Half Life 3 joke? So obvious. There is no way chapter 3 or HL3 will ever be release without massive fan fare and without anyone else being made aware of it months in advance. Also its April 1st.....dont believe anything you read on that day.

Living in Australia means that all this stuff more or less happens on the 2nd of April :(

I say we all give Steve Butts 10/10's just to balance it out.

 

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