Facepalm: Bethesda may have just pulled off the biggest trolling of fans of any developer in recent memory during a Twitch steam leading up to today's announcement of Vault 76.
Yesterday the game maker started a stream on its Twitch channel. According to The Verge, the cryptic feed showed a Pip Boy statuette standing in front of the iconic Fallout “Please Stand By” screen. And so it remained for nearly 24 hours after which the teaser trailer for Fallout 76 was shown.
During the broadcast, more than 2 million unique viewers visited the feed 15 million times. The channel hosted more than 100,000 concurrent viewers throughout most of the stream anxiously waiting for whatever it was that Bethesda was planning to announce.
The company was clearly playing on fans’ hunger for any information on a new Fallout project, and that in and of itself is not necessarily trolling.
However, after the Fallout 76 trailer concluded, Todd Howard himself briefly appeared on screen to say, “We have had over 2 million unique visitors to this stream to watch, I don’t know what, nothing.” He then stepped off-screen, and the stream ended.
Fans, some of whom were surely holding vigil all night, were not thrilled at the bait. “IS THAT IT” some in the Twitch chat room wailed. Others surely had a good laugh at the whole ridiculous incident.
The feed was not completely devoid of mildly entertaining moments though. Polygon collected a handful of clips that lightened up the otherwise extremely boring feed. The excerpt above has Pete Hines toasting Pip Boy with a little sumpin-sumpin.
Bethesda’s announcement of Vault 76 is sure to elicit strong feelings among fans. Some are sure to be excited about a new Fallout entry, while others will be extremely disappointed if the unconfirmed news that it will be a multiplayer survival title turns out to be true. However, nothing can beat Bethesda’s ultimate “hurry-up-and-wait” Twitch troll — not even Epic’s weeks-long comet tease. The Verge does point out, however, that Ubisoft pulled a similar stunt back in 2015 with Far Cry Primal.