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The Survivor 2299

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IW2BF4.png

We've been positively dry on news for quite a while now, so I figured I'd bring some attention to something possibly Fallout 4-related I've just learned about:

http://thesurvivor2299.com/

Spooky, huh? Apparently, this domain was just recently registered by the big Beth, confirmed by news sites Gameranx and 8th-Circuit. The current Morse code translates to CQ/CQ/CQ/DE/OZ/PSE/AS, which is the Morse code for Calling any station. Calling any station. Calling any station. This is OZ. Please stand by. OZ in the NATO phonetic code stands for Oscar Zulu. Interestingly, the file name for the Morse code starts with V137.

The facts:

  • The domain registrant is ZeniMax Media Inc. The same spelling of the registrant, data, and even contact information are used for the main Bethesda Softworks domain (bethsoft.com). GoDaddy domain data.
  • The Google conversion id (located in the JavaScript portion at the bottom of the page) is 963805860. The same Google conversion id is used by official Bethesda Softworks webpages (eg. The Elder Scrolls.
  • The cascading style sheet references the Monofonto font used in Fallout 3s interface.
  • A div at the bottom of the page is noted as pointing towards Bethesda Softworks' own YouTube profile.
  • A Tumblr account that's related to this page (it seems) has been uncovered on Reddit.
  • Additionally, an overlooked point is that the site has now experienced massive traffic and is still up. As Rob O'Neill (thanks again, man) points out, this indicates that whomever operates the site clearly has the funds to pay for the bandwidth and traffic.
  • Reddit users have traced the countdown code to a Polish web developer, Krzysztof Furtak. The code is available publicly under the GNU GPL license. Does this explain the presence of Polish variables in the code? Maybe. It doesn't explain, however, why the site was initially hosted on a Polish server or why a multimillion dollar gaming company would use a GPL code when they have enough web designers of their own. A strong dose of skepticism is recommended.
  • As per GameInformer: "We heard back from Bethesda regarding TheSurvivor2299.com. The publisher declined to comment on this rumor as per policy." (from veryblackraven)

Now removed content:

  • The European RTMP server is stated to point to a Polish IP (5.131.13.121). The American IP (199.107.64.171) is listed as owned by ZeniMax Media. The second (199.15.249.30) resolves to a Baltimore hosting company.
  • The site included references to assets, including posters:

<img src="http://prepareforthefuture.com/static/00_posters/04_poster_pinch.png">
<img src="http://prepareforthefuture.com/static/00_posters/04_poster_apo.png">
<img src="http://prepareforthefuture.com/static/00_posters/04_poster_battlesh_cov.png">
<img src="http://prepareforthefuture.com/static/00_posters/04_poster_river.png">
<img src="http://prepareforthefuture.com/static/00_posters/04_poster_bst01.png">
<img src="http://prepareforthefuture.com/static/00_posters/04_poster_bst02.png">
<img src="http://prepareforthefuture.com/static/00_posters/04_poster_bk_wads_atheneum.png">

  • 04_poster_bk_wads_atheneum.png seems to reference the Wadswoth Atheneum, an art museum in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • 04_poster_battlesh_cov.png appears to be a reference to Battleship Cove in Fall River, Massachusetts.
  • Another file on the server (commented out currently), fall-river-6191da7f11n.mp3, referenced the city of Fall River south of Boston and east of Bridgeport.
  • Another file was present (commented out as well), hanscom-msg-52862c3e7a30e.mp3, referring (apparently) to Hanscom AFB, Massachussets.
  • The .mp3 file could be accessed at this address which incidentally references the Connecticut city of Bridgeport. The Morse code translated to '12-22-13', or maybe '11-22-13'.

It does seem similar to how Fallout 3 was teased, though remember the following things to consider before claiming it's the next coming of Fallout:

  • The countdown script is referred to as bscountdown.js. BS is a well known acronym for, well, bullshit.
  • Pinging the domain name used to resolve to the IP 5.131.13.121, which is a Polish server belonging to ViBiznes, a hosting company not used by ZeniMax or Bethesda. Currently it resolves to 199.15.249.30, which is a server belonging to a Baltimore hosting company, not on any IP belonging to the ZeniMax Media company.
    • However, pinging stream.thesurvivor2299.com resolves to 199.107.64.171, an IP owned by ZeniMax Media Inc.
  • The presence of Polish names for script variables inside the website code also indicates this may very well be a very convincing fake. Though highly unlikely, it might also mean that it was outsourced to a Polish company.
  • ZeniMax does not use GoDaddy for domain registration. They rely on the services of CSC Corporate Domains, Inc.
  • The site references assets from the defunct Prepare for the Future website, rather than a new domain. Furthermore, it is possible to submit fake registration details while applying for a domain, allowing one to mimic a corporation.
  • Another issue is that the supposed reveal uses the European date format, rather than American (i.e. days are in front of months, not the other way around).
  • There was a 'fallout.js' (JavaScript) as a file reference on the page, but it has been since removed.
  • Looking up the locations on the map, they seem to be centered south and south-west of Boston, which was repeatedly rumored (without any sort of official confirmation) to be the setting of the next Fallout game. However, it should be noted that the distance between Bridgeport and Fall River alone totals 137 miles. The real world distance between the Jefferson Memorial and the western edge of the map in Fallout 3 was about 40-50 miles.

From the Reddit thread on the topic:

  • The design of the site does not match any known ZeniMax sites, nor does the set up and infrastructure associated with it.