Steam April Fools Pranks Do Happen (Explained)

Most historians agree that April Fool’s Day dates back to at least medieval times. And given the significance of humor in our daily lives for health and well-being, it’s not surprising that this holiday dedicated to comedy permeates our culture every April 1st. So what does this mean for gamers, you might ask?

From the now infamous Half-Life 3 prank of 2012 to the more common ones like fake upgrades, Steam April Fools pranks do happen! While pranks vary in complexity, the main thing for gamers is to beware and double check anything that seems out of the ordinary or too good to be true on April 1st!

Every April 1st it seems more and more companies jump onto the April Fools’ bandwagon and try to prank consumers. This is to garner hype and build momentum for their product, but also it is a low-stakes way for ‘big business’ to reach out to their community and build their rapport.

Regardless though of intention, gamers, just like every else, should be on guard every April 1st with what they see and hear because it’s highly likely that the information is suspect!

That being said, let’s look at some notorious pranks from Steam, as well as their reasoning for it, and what gamers/consumers should know to protect themselves and just have fun on April 1st!

Facebook Bought Steam April Fools Joke

Facebook, and its creator/owner Mark Zuckerberg, is well known for purchasing various up and coming brands and seemingly bettering them for the sake of its customers, and of course, for purposes of expanding Facebook.

Some examples of past purchases include the messaging app, WhatsApp, and a ‘rival’ little social media platform known as, Instagram. (You can learn more about the development of Facebook presumably detailed in the movie, The Social Network, available at Amazon Prime).

Well one recent April Fool’s Day prank from Steam was it’s released notice that Facebook bought it from the parent company, Valve. Now one reason this prank seemed to trick everyone is because it seemed so viable. I believe there’s a famous quote that said the best way to tell a lie is to wrap it in truth, and that’s what this rumor/prank did.

Years later, Facebook still doesn’t own Steam, though Facebook has worked to put together their own ‘Steam’ like gaming platform within the Facebook universe and have since purchased things like Oculus.

With the purchase of virtual reality gaming systems like Oculus Quest, Facebook has made its intentions known to gamers.

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Yet, Steam is one of the best worlds for gamers, and it may be nearly impossible for Facebook to defeat them in what they already have. If they have to, then the main way they can do it is by Facebook purchasing it. This platform is firm, and the pressure from Facebook may make the purchase even easier.

The means of operation for Valve is very efficient such that it is in a position to withstand the push from Facebook, as it looks to a bystander. And judging by the uproar from its community boards after this Facebook prank, its users aren’t welcoming for a Facebook ownership either.

Don’t even joke about that man!

Said ‘Spongeroberto’ on Reddit

Besides being a great entry into gaming for Facebook, purchasing Valve/Steam would be an excellent idea monetarily too. This is because Valve/Steam make 30 percent of the sales for the games purchased on its site, and this is huge, given the large base they have.

Of course, everyone realizes Facebook isn’t hurting for money, but one reason it’s stayed relevant and powerful (and hasn’t gone the way of ‘MySpace’) is because Facebook keeps looking ahead and adding to its value. This is evident from its additions of the aforementioned apps, but also such extensions like Facebook Marketplace which is an online ‘flea market/garage sale’ similar to predecessor Craigslist.

However, this ‘Facebook/Steam’ prank isn’t something too harmful, and was meant in jest. But still, fans of Steam have lingering thoughts that perhaps there IS some truth to the story and that one day, it will actually happen.

Til then, most Steam users are glad it was a joke!

Half-Life 3 Steam April Fools Prank

2012’s Half-Life 3 Valve Steam April Fool’s prank is one for gaming history. Fans still talk about it over ten years later!

Since gamers tend to enjoy fun and jokes (as it’s usually intertwined with most games), it makes sense that they’ll look favorably on April Fool’s Day holiday and be the instigators, if you will, of pranks and jokes themselves. That being said, many still grumble about the Half-Life 3 game prank.

For the backstory, I’ll quickly explain the drama around Half-Life 3. ‘Half-Life’ is a very popular, classic, game and it had two ‘episodes.’ Well, fans almost immediately started asking about Half-Life 3 in order to round out the game and tie up loose ends. Despite the demand and popularity, though, Valve has never produced it.

There’s been many attempts over the years, but it just hasn’t successfully materialized, much to the dissatisfaction of fans everywhere!

Now that you have that minute refresher, you can see how the 2012 prank of the release of Half-Life 3 went too far, at least in the minds of gamers.

Considering Half-Life 3 is a game that most video game people wish would really come about, having this prank was almost like salt in the wound! While it’s true that gamers should be aware that anything on April 1st is more than likely a joke, they just really wanted this so badly, that most all ‘fell for it.’ It’s like when you get that lotto ticket and you know in your heart, you’re not going to win, you still have to look anyway….just in case!

So here we/they are, and it’s April Fools’ Day. Gamers everywhere are signing in to Steam, and see a notice about Half-Life 3! Essentially, we can just all admit that Valve decided that it wanted to play games of another kind with its users, right?

There was this poster regarding the ‘real’ release of Half-Life 3, finally after all this time! But of course, it was not true, even though so many people wished it to be true.

Half-Life 3 has been ‘in the works’ back and forth for the past decade, and it still hasn’t manifested.

But there were some little crumbs to alert gamers that it was joke, that is, if they took the time to notice. Although several indicators were there on the poster, one example of this is that it did not even have an exact date about when the game would actually be released. This is really a dead giveaway. It actually said instead ‘the release party is tomorrow’. Now come on; users should know this wouldn’t really happen. ‘Tomorrow’ is too vague.

Truly if gamers had just looked at the information carefully and then put that together with the holiday, they would have figured it out quite easily that it was a joke. But the truth of the matter is that people wanted it to be real, so this is actually why gamers fell for it.

Now years later, it’s just another kind of meme…like ‘guess what, Half-Life 3’…and goes on from there. From talking about things taking too long, to alluding to the disappointment of fans, to the many many reported rewrites/fails, there’s a plethora of opportunities to make Half-Life 2 memes, all from this Steam April Fool’s prank!

The holiday of April Fool’s Day is a great holiday dedicated to comedy and humor, and it’s natural for it to be used by Steam and gamers alike. But it’s also a holiday where people can easily go overboard. For many, the Half-Life 3 prank of 2012 was one such event.

In all transparency, though, it’s said that Steam/Valve didn’t create the prank but someone outside of the company. Regardless it goes down in history for gamers as a dark day for April 1st. But as time goes on, it’s easier for those upset to get the joke now.

For Steam, whether or not they originated the Half-Life 3 prank, they still enjoy pranking their consumers and gaming community come April 1st. It’s up to the gamers to be on alert!

Wrapping Up Steam April Fools Pranks

To wrap it up, it’s true that Steam April Fools pranks happen. Games and a holiday known for pranks seem to make sense, too!

Some famous (or infamous) Steam April Fools’ pranks from the past involved ‘Steam being bought by Facebook’ and the popular, nostalgic game Half-Life 3 being released. Neither of these were actually fact, and the result was an upset gaming community, with ramifications even today!

While April 1st is a holiday for fun jokes and pranks, it can easily be taken too far. Jokes and pranks aren’t funny if they anger your consumer base, so it’s a good idea for businesses to keep that in mind the next time they devise a prank. After all you want the reaction to be humorous, not anger. Otherwise, who’s really the fool?

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Source: PC Gamer

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