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April Fools’ roundup: Here are video gaming’s best pop-culture gags

Licensed products that don’t exist — but should

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Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

April Fools’ Day is upon us. Yes, it’s now a marketing holiday and has been for a decade, but some of these gags are still clever. Here’s a roundup of how April Fools’ is going down in our corner of pop culture.

Pokémon Shenanigans

Oh no! The dastardly Team Rocket has hacked Pokémon’s official Twitter.

We assume this will be going on all day. But, yeah, it means everything in Pokemon’s official Twitter history is now signed TEAM ROCKET so that might look a little weird for a while.

Elsewhere, Niantic, makers of Pokémon Go got in on the fun with a new feature announcement.

Niantic, Inc.

“Experience Pokémon Go like never before with cutting-edge 8-BIT GRAPHICS!” says Niantic. “Registering approximately twice the definition of 4K, the chunky squares of each pixel provide realistic detail and unbelievable definition. Your Pokédex will feel lifelike in ways previously unimagined on any handheld device ever created.”

Final Fantasy 14 Gathering Outdoors

Melding the grind of resource harvesting with the popularity of Square-Enix’s GO series of mobile games (and a ton of augmented reality) we have Final Fantasy 14 Online GO. This video is worth it for the deadpan, subtitled performance of designer “Futoshi Ito.”

“It’s a very special plastic stick, which turns your phone into a mining hammer.” This needs to happen so I can see people happily trashing their phones down at the municipal park.

Battle Royales

Thanks to Playerunknown’s Battleground and Fortnite this is the trendiest trend in video game trends, making it ripe for April Fools’ prankery.

Enlisted, coming soon Gaijin Entertainment (they make War Thunder) is running something called “Cuisine Royale.” It’s a big enticement to get folks to apply for the alpha test of the game and download its client, but everyone who is in it is running around with kitchen implements.

“For the first time in the history of computer games — free loot boxes,” says the developer, capitalizing on another topic of the now.

Gaijin’s other game, War Thunder, is running a submarine combat spinoff called Silent Thunder which doesn’t sound like much of a joke actually. It’s accessible through the War Thunder client.

Elsewhere, Total War, the strategy series by Creative Assembly that would seem to be the furthest thing from a battle royale game, alleged that it was running a battle royale in its multiplayer playlist. (“period-authentic trebuchets will replace parachutes and cargo planes” according to a writeup on PCGamesN,) They also got this quote, attributed to CA’s Al Bickham.

“It’s beyond epic. And loot crates, oodles of loot crates. All the loot crates. People love loot crates right? No? No, okay I’ve just been told we’re not doing loot crates. Definitely not doing loot crates. But hats for sure. And corpse humping. In your face, Marc Antony!”

Uplay’s admin terminal

(Via ResetEra) If you go to Uplay through one of Ubisoft’s games you can access a terminal window (version 4.2?) Some think this may be teasing Watch Dogs 3 (the last game launched in 2016) but in any case, the DOS throwback is a nice goof.

Razer’s Project Venom

I’ve had issues with my Razer Blade laptop over the past five years where the keyboard doesn’t work at startup, so I’m not sure I’d drink something made by the same company. I might have to reinstall my intestines or something. But it sounds like Razer’s really going next-level with their approach to elite gaming performance.

ThinkGeek’s Annual How-Bad-Do-You-Want-It product line

You know the deal with ThinkGeek, since about 2010 or so. The novelty shop (since acquired by GameStop) puts out a bunch of parody product listings and then if the reaction to one is especially clamorous, they may make it (for example, the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag). My hands-down winner is the Bluetooth-enabled Pet Rock.


“It’s literally a rock from outside their office doors,” a ThinkGeek representative told Polygon. The Pet Rock was one of the greatest fads of 1970s pop culture and pairing it with a Bluetooth-enabled device, to do nothing of course (like the original) just makes me laugh. The reason this joke works is it bridges generations, the groovy boomers and the hip, connected millennials. I showed this to Mom and she laughed and laughed.

Elsewhere, ThinkGeek is floating:

Alien Face-Hugger Snorkel Mask


This is either scary or hilarious, I’m not sure.

Fortnite R/C Battle Bus


If anything has the best shot of getting made, this is it. In fact, why hasn’t this been made yet?

According to the fictitious product listing:

You can recreate the iconic opening scene of every Fortnite match with your own R/C controlled Battle Bus.

Like old-school R/C vehicles, it’s controlled by a remote. But where it gets good is when you hook it up to your phone or tablet and watch the augmented reality map mode turn your backyard into the Fortnite Battle Royale map. Our Battle Bus even includes little plastic characters with “gliders” for you to deploy into the fray. Your birdbath is the new Loot Lake.

The 4d6andMe Stat Discovery Kit

Cribbing on genealogy services that tell you your actual heritage, here’s a bogus saliva-test that will tell you what your attributes would really be in Dungeons & Dragons. Ever want to know what your bend bars/lift gates percentage is? Detect secret doors? Saving throw against breath weapon? You may not like the answers ...

Anyway, happy April Fools’, and we hope something or someone gives you a good laugh today.

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