While reading some of my news updates I saw one that I left, and I now wish I hadn’t. The title on the RSS feed was “A Mystery USB Drive Arrived Today”. I assumed that this was to do with the recent update that is coming to the Xbox to allow USB drives to be used as additional storage. However upon ready this story it would appear that it’s a viral marketing campaign, much like the Bioshock 2 something in the sea website, for a new game that has yet to be revealed. A USB drive was sent to various gaming sites, such as IGN and Joystiq as well as some COD fan sites, in a plain manila envelope with no return address, however there was a post mark from Maryland, America.
The drive contained 2 items. An audio file with a man’s voice reading out a quote, "What we wish, we readily believe, and what we ourselves think, we imagine others think also", as well as "Don't believe everything you see." followed by this sequence of letters:
MOD ZZZ JNQRYD3FRP
The other item was a text document with the following words in “Cryptography; Isotope; Philanthropy; Hydrogen; Ember; Rebirth”.
The Quote was by Julius Caesar and applying a Caesar cipher, with a shift of three, to the letter sequence reveals it to spell WWWGKNOVA6COM which does in fact lead to a website, with a television set which can be tuned using the dial. The set appears to repeat a message, a quote and then “NOVASIX” repeated along with various images.
Some clever bod, over at joystiq.com has found that the quote is from Francis Bacon, and he like Caesar has a cipher named after him. Bacon’s cipher uses different type faces to hide a message in plain sight, like some robots I know of ;). In the case of this message the “NOVASIX” is spelt by two voices, one male and one female. With the bacon cipher the repeated spelling of “NOVASIX” becomes “April Week Two”
So what does this mean? There are several opinions on which game this might mean, the first is that it’s for the new Fallout Game, Fallout: New Vegas, with the nuclear references it’s possibly and with Maryland being the home of Bethesda it’s defiantly possible. However others seem to think that it might be a reference to the new Call of Duty title this year. The text in the text file seems to contain a Google analytics code use by Activision. But there is a third possibility, and it’s a game that I’ve been looking forward to since I first read about it, and that is Singularity. However it may also be something completely different. I guess we’ll have to wait and see but I will be watching the website and I will update if I hear anything else.