A recent "leak" by a Spanish portal hinted at American tech giant Microsoft Corporations acquiring all divisions of rival multinational conglomerate Sony Corporations, in a landmark $130 billion deal.
The report left many on the internet, chiefly gamers, throwing a hissy fit.
Microsoft had earlier this year acquired ZeniMax Media, the parent company of noted video game publisher Bethesda Softworks, for $7.5 billion, making it the sole owner of highly-celebrated video game franchises such as DOOM, Wolfenstein, The Elder Scrolls, and Fallout.
Microsoft has its own brand of 'Xbox' video game consoles, and the console rivalry with the PlayStation line is a highlight of the video-gaming world.
Since the prospect of losing out to "Xbox owners" is enough to enrage PlayStation stans, the report of Microsoft acquiring Sony led to a lot of netizens expressing their indignation and disapproval.
However, a closer examination of the report has revealed that things just aren't always how they seem.
Claim: Microsoft acquired all divisions of Sony, including PlayStation, for $130 billion
The report was first "leaked" by a Spanish portal on Tuesday, which was subsequently shared by a website called "Microsofters" and translated into English by EN24 news on social media.
While reporting on the apparent development, the Spanish portal had included several convincing details, including that the deal was valued at $130 billion (which instantly hooked several readers) and Microsoft's overarching plans to take advantage of some of Sony's biggest strengths, such as the technology for its cameras and its exclusive video-gaming lineup.
The report also made it appear like Microsoft was looking to hold the sole monopoly when it came to generating titles for video game consoles and increase its appeal to the Japanese market, which many were already suspecting to be true after it grabbed Bethesda's highly-acclaimed lineup.
Japan is a market they have always struggled to crack due to the success of Sony and Nintendo
Facts: No such deals have been signed
It's a no-brainer at this point, but it's almost unbelievable how deranged fanatic gamers can be when they faced with the convincing prospect of losing out on their favourite brands.
However interesting that thought might be, plenty of things don't add up.
Firstly, there has been no official nod to an apparent landmark deal such as this, even hours after the report first "leaked" on the internet.
It seems strange that what could've been the biggest news story of decade is reported in a Spanish magazine and a few blogs, but no other major publication or website has reported on the news.
Secondly, and this is kind of the proverbial "deal-breaker", really, the original Spanish report was shared on December 28, a date which is observed in many Hispanic cultures as the "Day of the Holy Innocents".
What does the day stand for? It's a equivalent for the April Fools' Day in the West; in other words, a day for hoaxes and practical jokes.
Verdict: Fake news, but good baitposting, nonetheless
Of course, the report didn't fool anyone who were seriously well-versed with updates in the tech world. But it was written convincingly enough to let a lot of known faces down the gutter of practical hooks.
With rumours as these, they always need to be taken with a grain of salt. However, with the longstanding suspicion that Microsoft really is looking to acquire a Japanese studio (many suspect it being Kojima Productions), what turned out to be purely speculation left a considerable section of the internet wondering.
Goes on to say much about the suspicion and distrust in the tech/gaming world, more than anything, really.