Something is going on with the XCOM shooter… [updated]

XCOM

UPDATE: One small update here that may not mean anything at all. We had a commenter with the user name VeritasMCMLXII share a YouTube video featuring digitally masked talk of a meteor not really being a meteor and an “in my day” admonishment about cover-ups. The commenter and YouTuber both share the same handle, which translates from Latin to Truth1962. There are also keywords in the YouTube page’s source code that point again to “What happened in ’62?” Is this part of some viral campaign for whatever the XCOM shooter has become? A highly skilled troll? Evidence of an imminent alien invasion that will lay waste to Earth’s major cities and force us all to forget about silly diversions like video games?

ORIGINAL POST: Something seems to be happening with the oft-delayed XCOM shooter from 2K Marin that was first unveiled back in 2010. A tipster pointed out to Digital Trends that the game’s official website appears to have been removed. Visitors are greeted with a 404 error message, indicating that the server is live but the content that the URL should be connecting with isn’t there. A cached version of the site can be viewed for a brief moment before a lingering age gate redirect kicks in, resulting in another 404 error from the seemingly absent age gate.

XCOM shooter

It is entirely possible that there’s been a technical hiccup on 2K Games’ side, though that seems unlikely. The Enemy Unknown website is connected to the XCOM.com url as well, and that one is running just fine. What’s more, all evidence of previously released trailers and gameplay footage appear to have been scrubbed from the official 2K Games YouTube channel. You can still find that content hosted by a variety of third-party sources, but nothing official from 2K.

These new developments become even more noteworthy when you consider a recent column from Internet super-sleuth Superannuation on Kotaku. The late-March write-up points out four newly registered domains – thebureau-game.com, thebureau-game.net, whathappenedin62.com, and whathappenedin62.net – that belong to 2K. From what we already knew, the XCOM shooter is set in 1962 and it features a story charting the birth of the extraterrestrial-stomping organization. What did happen in 1962?

new XCOMThere’s also the semi-recent revelation that the previously confirmed and demoed first-person tactical shooter gameplay may be changed to squad-based third-person action, a la SOCOM. This information, along with a handful of screenshots, came from a marketing survey that a Kotaku tipster allegedly participated in. The September 2012 report also notes that the game remains in the hands of 2K Marin, and that it may be released as a downloadable title for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

What we’re left with is a whole new set of dots to connect. Kotaku’s insider sources tend to be exceptionally reliable (see also: Call of Duty leaks, the PlayStation 4, the recent deluge of LucasArts information), so don’t immediately discount the talk from Superannuation or the marketing survey tipster. We reached out to 2K Games and got a very succinct response: “No comment.”

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