April Fool’s Day has somehow become gaming’s big holiday, as the industry comes together this time every year to celebrate the fun that can be had in poking fun at itself, its fans, and of course the humble games press. The jokes and pranks range from the eye-roll-inducing to the genuinely delightful, and rather than post each one we stumble across, we’ll keep this story update as we turn them up over the course of the day. Strap in, and be careful out there today.
Here are some of the best April Fools goofs from an alternate universe’s games industry.
War Thunder heads undersea
We mentioned this one yesterday (but didn’t want to spoil the joke), since Gaijin Games began their annual April Fool’s fun at 00:01 Kamchatka time and are running it through 23:59 Hawaii time – the better to get in as much tomfoolery as possible. The gag? They’re “testing” a new nuclear submarine game called Silent Thunder, which you can play through the War Thunder client.
Razer let you “be the machine”
PC gamers are used to upgrading their machines, and Razer’s April Fool’s offering is a nanobot-infused energy drink that lets us upgrade our own cells. Chug a vial of Razer’s Project Venom v2 and you’re ready to go head to head with the pros, with better response times and your own RGB lighting scheme. If anything, Razer’s gag hits a bit too close to reality – it wasn’t all that long ago that energy drinks marketed themselves with almost exactly this kind of straight-faced absurdity.
Nvidia creates a virtual university
Opting for a more traditionalist approach, Nvidia’s April Fools joke is the Geforce Academy of Gaming. You can choose a major like esports management or “Gameosophy,” and enroll in courses like CRY 102, a class about why you still can’t run Crysis on your rig. Really it’s an elaborate way to sign you up for the email list, but when it’s all over you get a nice acceptance letter (in .pdf format) from Nvidia’s “director of admissions.”
Total War goes Bandwagon-Royale
What with Total War’s foray into the Warhammer Fantasy universe in the last few years, it’s hard to put a cap on what’s possible for Creative Assembly’s franchise – anything seems possible, right? But they’re not really going to jump into the current battle royale craze just yet, despite what you may have heard from Richard Scott-Jones earlier. You have to admit, though – moddable hats might make this concept work.
Uplay adds an “admin console”
If you open Ubisoft’s Uplay launcher today, you might notice something strange: on the upper right-hand side of the pane, there’s glitching text that says “admin_console.” Click it, and what looks like a terminal window will appear over the Uplay client, complete with dire warnings about “internal tools.” The console accepts various commands that you can play with, such as “increase-level” and “make-it-rain “. What does it all mean? As some Resetera forum posters have pointed out, it sure feels a lot like Watch_Dogs.
Corsair wants your help in saving abused GPUs
This one cuts close to home, as anyone who’s looked at upgrading their graphics card this past year has had to deal with the massive price spikes caused by cryptocurrency mining’s demand for GPUs. Corsair is asking for your donation to sponser a GPU that’s been forced to work in the crypto mines, and they’ll gladly send you a photo of a card that’s been rescued and rehomed in an actual gaming rig. They’re accepting all major credit cards, PayPal, and… Bitcoin.