April Fools' Day 2019 round-up

 Just try and stop the hashtag brands firing off April Fools' gags that feel like they were in the planning phases for months (much like all good jokes). Every year, of course, games developers and publishers join in on the 'fun'—disregard the sarcasm there if preferred—and below we've rounded up all of the notable ones we've found so far.  

We'll update this post with more jokes as we find them.

Final Fantasy 14 Home Assistant 

This one has unreasonably high production standards for an April Fools' gag, looking like an actual advert for a data-harvesting device you talk to in your living room. In reality, it's promoting Final Fantasy 14's free trial, using the MMO's superboss as a fun hook. There are some dark jokes, here. But hey: humour is often about risk.

Capcom World President Challenges: A Shooting Game

A playable April Fools’ gag that casts you as a combat president in a shmup. Shoot soldiers, collect power ups, and avoid enemy fire. The game’s basic but the music gives it that Capcom vibe.  

Turn-based Yakuza

I sort of want this to be real. Is it real? The camera pans knowingly to the date at the end, but the animations and overall polish seems too good for a throwaway prank. Maybe the assets are from the next Yakuza game in development. I like the Persona 5 style combat menus and, well, pretty much everything else about it.

PC Gaming Wiki rebrands to Epic Gaming Wiki 

Popular and invaluable resource PC Gaming Wiki has revealed an 'exclusive' partnership with Epic Games, with an April Fools' rebrand that I'm sure will amuse anyone who's paid attention to the recent Epic Games Store exclusives drama. "In solidarity with Epic Game Store's lack of features, we have decided to drop support for: forums, refunds, parties, account sharing, version rollbacks, screenshots, groups, marketplace, mod hosting, library sorting and the entire Linux platform as Epic Game Store has no support these features." Very good.

Rabbids join For Honor

Rabbids can be found in-game in For Honor, just for today. It's worth watching them in action on YouTube—they'd definitely outstay their welcome after more than 24 hours, but for today, it's one of the better gags doing the rounds.

Conan Chop Chop

"Nine billion randomly-generated dungeons" and "virtual-virtual reality" promises this gag trailer for a new Conan game from Funcom. To be honest, this isn't a million miles off looking like an actually good 2D roguelike Zelda-ish game. Funcom even made it an official website.  

Nvidia unveils R.O.N.

Two personal assistant gags in one April Fools' Day: what material! Nvidia's R.O.N. has an official web page—the best gag is this. "Have anger issues? R.O.N. uses all-new adaptive RageConverter™ technology to translate any questionable language into supportive messages for your team."

Sniper Elite romance game 

Following last month's bumper pack of Sniper Elite announcements, here's one that will never happen. Although a wartime romance game doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world, Sniper Elite admittedly seems like a poor fit.

Corsair's Game Launcher Launcher

One of the better jokes doing the rounds is Corsair's launcher that manages all your launchers, introduced via the fun video above. "Convert your money into RGBucks, a new digital currency that lets you buy digital currency!" It has the tone of a good GTA radio station ad.

World of Tanks goes back in time

2011 wouldn’t be the first place I’d visit with a time machine, but Wargaming seems to have fond memories of it and has flung World of Tanks eight years into the past. World of Tanks Classic is an optional mode that reverts the game to an earlier state where only three nations were available and tanks could magically ignore physics. You can download the mode here and play until April 3.

Total War: Three Kingdoms' mobile mode

Creative Assembly 'reveals' a mobile mode for Three Kingdoms with this quite excellent Old Internet web page. Promised are 'vastly inferior graphics!' and 'reduced gameplay features!'. Should run on my Nokia 3310. 

The Anthem subreddit has rebranded to The Division 2

BioWare's Anthem is getting a bit of a kicking on its own Subreddit today, rebranded with a banner image of The Division 2. Even the meta title says 'The Division 2'. Separately, this popular post makes a gag of the game's ongoing problems with endgame content. 

Platinum announces its first self-published game

The only problem with this one is, I would definitely play a Platinum game called Chief Executive Omni-Weapon Ken-Ichi. 

UFOs enter War Thunder 

UFOs just improve any game—GTA 5 for instance—so this War Thunder promotion actually sounds like a pretty good idea for a full game. 

Vermintide 2's Bardin gets a songbook

Unfortunately, it's already sold out. I'm really holding out for Markus Kruber's Shatner-style spoken word album.

Raccoon City's zombie population is in decline—please help

A really simple Resident Evil 2 Remake-themed one—find the page here. If you want to take part, you'll have to relocate to Raccoon City. 

Worms running on Teletext

An extremely British one, this. Teletext was an information directory you could access on your TV that had basic interactive elements—if Worms was actually released on there back in the '90s, I'd have played the crap out of it. 

Bohemia is opening a theme park

There's a whole host of gags within this one about Bohemia's various games, with the DayZ one probably being the highlight. "DayZ World spawns visitors right into the environment that inspired the iconic Chernarus terrain, and promises a series of wild roller coaster rides to endure. This includes the world’s longest roller coaster ever, which will take you up and down for over 5 hours, until it finishes right where it started." 

Harada joins Tekken

Tekken's director Katsuhiro Harada is shown in-game, here, look extremely well-dressed. I'm sure this will delight hardcore fans of the Namco series. 

Oh look, it's Doom's turn

Doom has brought its April Fools' joke—see above. If you'd prefer to see some footage of Doom Eternal, look here

Cats Vs Dogs in League of Legends

Riot's April Fools' gag dropped several days before April 1st, which I'm pretty sure isn't how the day works. Nonetheless: dogs and cats are good.

Remedy's Control gets a technicolor mode

This looks like a Remedy game via Lovely Planet, which I honestly have no problem with whatsoever. 

Payday Royale

Overkill's April Fools' gag for Payday is elaborate, with a three-minute video featuring talking heads from the studio and pretend Amiibo-style toys, not to mention an official site. "Every match starts with all heisters on the Hype Train that rushes across the island and you need to get off before its final stop or your ride is over for good," goes the description. 

Rage 2's He's On Fire cheat code

NBA Jam's original announcer Tim Kitzrow features in this Rage 2 trailer. The best part is when he yells "loud noises!"

Boyfriend Gungeon

Boyfriend Dungeon and Enter The Gungeon collide in the only crossover that truly makes sense. At last, a new game for my iPod Nano.

Hearts of Iron 4 has been invaded by sharks

Sure. Why not? Sharknados are battering Allies and Axis alike in this trailer for Hearts of Iron 4: Man the Guns 2: Sharkstorm. Expect modders to turn it into a real thing in a couple of days.

Yooka-Laylee in N64 vision

Playtonic's platformer get a real update today that adds a 64-bit filter to the game. Although, if this was an actual N64 game, it'd surely run at half the framerate and be twice as blurry. 

Elder Scrolls Online cat cosplay

Turn your real-life cat into one of the Elder Scrolls' Khajiit with this fetching set of cat costumes, retailing for a mere $100,000. Wrestling a cat into one of these sounds fun. 

Rainbow Six Siege: Rainbow

Rainbow is Magic is, apparently, a real game mode "in honor of April Fools" that's running from today until April 8. 13 current operators are "reimagined" as toy soldiers and plushies, there are full outfits including headgear for  Smoke, Tachanka, Montagne, and Blackbeard, and players can pick up 17 exclusive event items, with no duplicate drops. Don't shoot my papillons!

Asus ROG Swift PG360°

What's better than a monitor that curves to provide a wider field of view? One that surrounds you entirely, engulfing you in nothing but the game. Even better, it does so with a 360Hz (wow that's fast) refresh rate and a response time of π.  Apparently there's AI in there too. How Foolish.

Razer Ping

Riffing on Apex Legends' fantastic Ping communication system, Razer's gag this year is a Ping system for real life. Why communicate with words when you can tell your buddies about donuts in the breakroom with the tap of a button. It also features "Lunch Master" mode that, like dropping in Apex, lets you ping various spots to eat so your squad can coordinate where you want to go. 

To the Moon gets a Canadian localization

Freebird Games'  narrative adventures To the Moon, A Bird Story, and Finding Paradise will finally make sense to Canadian players. Strange four-legged creatures have been replaced with the noble and sensible moose and the titular Bird from A Bird Story is now a Canadian goose. Oh, and what else do Canadians identify with? Mounties!

Lovers of Aether

Indie fighting game Rivals of Aether wins points for making its April Fools' joke a real playable thing: Lovers of Aether, a wholesome animal dating sim. Well, they claim it's wholesome, anyway. It does, at least, feature a friendly orca in a sideways baseball cap.

Tom Senior

Part of the UK team, Tom was with PC Gamer at the very beginning of the website's launch—first as a news writer, and then as online editor until his departure in 2020. His specialties are strategy games, action RPGs, hack ‘n slash games, digital card games… basically anything that he can fit on a hard drive. His final boss form is Deckard Cain.