Perfect Ten: Great MMO April Fools’ Day pranks from back in the day


There are two types of people on April 1st: those who are annoyed and indifferent to the tomfoolery going on all around them, and those who gleefully embrace the zany antics and bald-faced lies. For the record, I am of the latter crowd. I love April Fools’ Day and the humor and creativity that it inspires. While this day is by no means contained to our neck of the woods, MMOs have a long-running tradition of trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

I think a good goof has to have several qualities to make it truly memorable. It needs to be original. It needs to be actually amusing, whether or not you “fell for it.” And it needs to tweak our expectations and understanding of how MMOs work. Sometimes there are even important ideas that emerge from these jokes that could, indeed, make these titles better.

So let’s go through my favorite MMO April Fools’ Day pranks from back in the day!

Guild Wars 2: Super Adventure Box (2013)

Most studios are content to trick their players by posting a weird story with a few mock-ups. ArenaNet won the year by actually turning the joke into a commercial and playable content. Super Adventure Box, a pseudo-retro game-within-a-game, debuted to widespread acclaim, allowing players to jump, stab, and explore their way through this crazy world. The team even created a retro soundtrack to go with the fun, and several months later there was a follow-up in the form of World 2. It’s still going in festival format now!

Guild Wars: Annihilator (2011) and Annihilator 2: Searing Day (2012)

Speaking of Guild Wars, I’ll remind you that the original boasted two playable quests that parodied the Terminator films. In them, players would travel back in time to save Sarah and Gwen from killer Annihilator Golems. Of course the Asura are the ones who invent time travel (in the future), and of course, Searing Day cannot be changed by going into the past.

RuneScape: The Musical (2013)

I must tip my hat to this crew that went above and beyond to not only postulate the notion of putting one of the game’s more famous quests into musical format but shoot a video that shows the making of said musical complete with songs, puppets, costumes, and a general cheery insanity.

Neverwinter: Respen’s Marvelous Game (2014)

Interactive April Fools’ Day jokes always trump passive articles in my opinion, which is why I had to include this recent minigame (mini-event?) on this list. The devs actually put characters into a tabletop D&D experience and give them cool gifts (slimes!) as rewards. This is so brilliant and so faithful to the franchise that I stood up and applauded when I saw it. Well done.

World of Warcraft: The Molten Core for Atari 2600 (2008)

Take the most well-known raid from vanilla and marry it to one of the oldest consoles in history, and you end up with the genius of Molten Core for Atari 2600. The hilarious thing is that some people liked this idea so much that they actually went ahead and programmed a real game to make it happen.

Lord of the Rings Online: The Battle of Amon Hen (2008)

Also file this under “It’s a True Shame This Didn’t Actually Happen”: In 2008, LOTRO promised a “Fowl-Peoples” race complete with a special quest (“Crossing the Road”), new skills (such as “Hot Wings”), and a “Colonel” PvMP rank.

At least chicken play is a real thing and something you can actually do in the game — and later came the “Fool” chicken run through the Ettenmoors.

Dungeons and Dragons Online: Broccoli class (2011)

The broccoli thing kind of got out of control over at Turbine, which initially used the cute little spritely mascot in a brief free-to-play ad (above). Then it became the punchline to every joke that the studio and playerbase told, ever, because you have to run these things into the ground. Oddly enough, it was the 2011 announcement of a Broccoli class for the game that actually seemed to kill it. RIP, superfood friend.

Star Wars Galaxies: Dr. Fool (2009)

Oh Dr. Fool, where did you get your PhD? Considering that every toy you made kept running amok on the first of April for three consecutive years, you should have had your title stripped from you and been drummed out of the toy-making service in disgrace. Come to think of it, why does a toy-maker need a doctorate?

EverQuest II: Bristlebane Day (2007)

Good for EQII to make a full-fledged repeatable holiday out of April 1st! Bristlebane Day is the height of silliness for both in-game characters and the development team, and it’s hard not to get infected by the spirit of fun here. Special quests and crafting recipes emerge on this hallowed day, and it’s not a joke how involved the community gets in the activities that this king of thieves evokes.

Diablo Immortal’s announcement (2018)

It turns out that this wasn’t so much of a light-hearted April Fools’ Day joke as an unholy business model that parasitically infested one of Blizzard’s most notable franchises. If only we had phones that warned us of this incoming travesty.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at or with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
Previous articleCommunity-led Infantry Online, SOE’s 25-year-old shooter, marches its way onto Steam
Next articleThe Wagadu Chronicles has released its Dungeons & Dragons 5E-compatible tabletop rulebook

No posts to display

Subscribe to:
oldest most liked
Inline Feedback
View all comments