Who doesn’t love a good joke? The video game industry has never been a stranger to elaborate pranks, especially in recent years with the rise of social media. Some of these hoaxes were laugh-out-loud hilarious. Others were just plain mean. The following were the best April Fool’s Day pranks that passionate fans, developers, publishers, and hardware manufacturers have deceived us with.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | Half-Life 3
It’s unclear whether or not the hoax above was orchestrated by a fan or by Valve itself. In any case, this Half-Life 3 prank from 2012 was downright despicable. While the website certainly looked like Steam, its now-defunct URL contained an extra “p” and directed eager Half-Life aficionados to a knock-off version of the famous PC platform. Upon clicking the image, fans were greeted with a portrait of Gabe Newell that read “Happy April 1st.” There’s no doubt that whoever managed to pull this off was wicked. However, the joke was convincing enough to garner attention.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | Mega Man: Date My Robot Master
Mega Man: Date My Robot Master proudly promised to refresh the Mega Man franchise on April 1 last year. The romantic visual novel would place players in the shoes of a new, nameless robot assembled by Dr. Light. As a student of Robot University, he or she would be tasked with winning over the hearts of one of eight different Robot Masters while maintaining good grades and being active on social media. Date My Robot Master was announced with a release date of April 1, 20XX, which means fans can expect it to launch sometime this century.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | PlayStation Flow
Sony attempted to once again reinvent gaming experiences with PlayStation Flow in 2015. This wearable technology would allow players to simulate underwater sections from their favorite titles. Gone would be the days of sacrificing precious gaming time for exercise, as the two activities could be done simultaneously from the comfort of one’s swimming pool or bath. The goggles made the original PlayStation’s boot up sound when switched on. The safety of the product is questionable, but who cares about that when The Last of Us can be played underwater? Move over, PSVR.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | Choco-Go
Final Fantasy 14 introduced a revolutionary green energy alternative to transportation back in 2016. The ChocoGo app would allow customers to ride on Chocobos in order to get to their destinations. Users simply need to select their favorite variety of the species, choose how many greens to feed it, and wait while they listen to their favorite song from the MMORPG. As if the app wasn’t already a dream come true, these friendly yellow birds even came with built-in Wi-Fi. Japan is the gift that keeps on giving.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | Civilization 6 for smartwatch
As great as Civilization 6 is on PC, Switch, and iOS devices, its presence was noticeably absent on smartwatches. After all, few noteworthy games today neglect to release on the platform. Luckily, Aspyr Media quickly remedied this problem last year when it shared that the hit turn-based strategy game would be coming to smartwatches soon, complete with innovative touch-based features like swiping up to declare war or holding the screen to research pottery. The wrists of video game fans everywhere have never been the same since.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | MeowVR
Hardware manufacturer Asus took the virtual reality scene by storm when it posted its plans for a device designed exclusively for felines in 2016. MeowVR would give cats everywhere a multi-sensory experience like no other. The graphic that Asus provided indicated lots of petting, but it’s likely that the headset would also allow our cat companions the chance to simulate global domination.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | 8-bit Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go‘s April Fool’s Day prank last year was impressive. Niantic temporarily gave every pocket monster in the game an 8-bit look with “approximately twice the definition of 4K.” The joke paid homage to the franchise’s beginnings on Game Boy and sent veteran Pokemon trainers back in time to relive their glory days. Here’s hoping that the developer brings back the feature this year, as it’s likely that few fans still have their access to their old handhelds.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | Dog Ace Attorney
The Ace Attorney franchise is well-known for its captivating legal dramas and excellent character development. In 2015, developer Capcom attempted to raise the bar higher when it shared its plans for a spin-off game called Dog Ace Attorney. The title would have had each anthropomorphic canine character wear adorable outfits and speak in cute barks. Should the company have intentions on rebooting the property anytime soon, there are plenty of fans out there who wouldn’t mind this direction. Especially furries.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | League of Legends‘ Pizza Delivery Sivir and Birdio skins
League of Legends fans pining for greasy Sivir and Galio skins last year had their cries heard loud and clear. The game’s April Food Event gave players the chance to outfit the former champion with a pizza delivery uniform. The latter character got to wear a ridiculous poultry suit that complemented his new chicken dance routine nicely. Like Pokemon Go, this prank feels more like a gift than an act of deception. Perhaps Riot Games intended to reward its player base with these skins after they had to put up with yet another April Fool’s Day.
Best April Fool’s Day Pranks | The Sanic Collection
Who could ever forget about Sanic? For better or worse, this incredibly distorted illustration of Sega’s Blue Blur has been burned into the retinas of Sonic aficionados everywhere. The developer is well aware of the malformed creature’s popularity and chose to feature it as the star of a limited edition line of merchandise last year. Fans better get their wallets ready in case the Sanic Collection returns this week. There’s a good chance that everything in stock will go fast.
Video game fans have learned to be skeptical of any new title “announced” on April Fool’s Day, as some are undoubtedly still recovering from that Half-Life 3 prank. It goes without saying that they should be dubious of anything they read on the internet this Monday. Of course, they can return to believe in everything it tells them on April 2.