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Yes, just take a moment to soak that up. Final Fantasy XIII coming to the Xbox 360. Holy fucking shit. Simultaneous release in Europe and North America with PlayStation 3. Wow.

In the news media, shocking news is the best kind. People start talking, and sales, subscriptions and ratings for the news go up.

Usually, this is something the news media often sensationalize, but sometimes things happen that are actually planned announcements by certain industries. This kind of news is mainly relevant to the fans and press agents of those industries, but it's still a great way to get people talking.

The biggest shockers are often referred to as "They dropped a megaton." It's something signaling a major change, and completely unexpected (as in no warning beforehand), save for the people in the company making the announcement. Expect many jokes of pigs flying or of the impending apocalypse. These days, you at least can expect Web sites and forums related to those industries to explode with comments.

The term "megaton" is often used semi-sarcastically, as the original term comes from V-Jump magazine announcing a "megaton" announcement from Nintendo. Rampant speculation ensued ("This bluish, mosaic-ed out smear could be Mega Man! Holy crap, Nintendo's buying Capcom!"), Memetic Mutation took over, and then the announcement turned out to be nothing more than a tongue-in-cheek pre-announcement of a Naruto game for the Nintendo Game Cube by that magazine.

Again, this has to be unexpected. A new video game system five years after the last one was announced is not this trope. A controller that changes everything we thought about controllers is this trope.

Can cause cries of Ruined FOREVER if some fans are not pleased, or fanboygasms if they like what they hear.

Compare No Such Thing as Bad Publicity, Wham! Episode.

Tropes used in Megaton Announcement include:

Video Games

  • The Trope Namer is the 2002 Megaton announcement in V-Jump. A issue of V-Jump had an announcement promising that by the end of the year, a large project would be announced which would cause Nintendo to experience a boom. This took place a year after the Nintendo Gamecube launched and while Nintendo was behind Sony's Playstation 2, the console war for the generation was still early in progress. Gossip Evolution caused the hype surrounding the announcement to grow to extremely high levels. Nintendo's supporters in the Console Wars were eager for a big announcement which would turn around the GameCube's fortunes and help it take the lead over Playstation 2. Eventually, the big announcement ended up being the development of the first Naruto Clash of Ninja for the GameCube. At the time of the announcement, Naruto was largely unknown outside of Japan and the game flew under the radar of most the Western Nintendo fans. To this day, the Megaton announcement is still better known the actual game it was announcing.
  • E3 2004 brought us a new, realistic-looking Zelda game. This press conference legendarily brought audience members to tears.
  • Tokyo Game Show 2005: Nintendo shows off the Wii Remote for the first time.
  • The PS3's price is announced in E3 2006.
  • The private, early evening appearance of the Super Smash Bros. Brawl trailer at E3 2006, after it was a no-show at Nintendo's pre-E3 press conference. Alongside most wanted chars like Meta Knight and Pit was the announcement of Solid Snake to the roster, the first-ever third-party character in the series.
    • The best part about the Snake announcement was the way they did it. We have the crazy trailer for Brawl, showcasing insane action, new characters, final smashes, the works. Then, once you think the trailer's done... *breep breep* [Incoming Call]
    • And also the announcement of Sonic the Hedgehog on October 10, 2007, after all the crazy rumors about him during the first two games. The fanboys have never had a better chance at settling the age-old "Nintendo vs. Sega" argument!
      • And all of the above wasn't the first time Nintendo pulled it off with the Smash Bros. franchise. Back in E3 2001, when Nintendo was first showing off the Game Cube, they revealed Star Wars games and the then-upcoming Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker to appropriate applause and kudos, and then revealed they had one other thing to show off - nobody had known up until that point that they were even working on a second Smash game. The crowd was rather excited - and collectively had a jaw-drop when Nintendo announced it was playable on the floor. Those at Nintendo's pre-E3 2001 press conference had quite a bit of nostalgia when Brawl surprised people just as much as Melee did.
      • The announcement of the third Smash, Brawl was even a megaton to the lead designer of the game, Sakurai, who had already told Nintendo he was too busy on other stuff to make a third Smash. After the announcement, the Nintendo prez told him "either you'll design it, or we'll just make an online version of Melee". He decided to make it after all.
      • And of course, as of E3 2011, we're getting SSB 4. Cue the Flying Pigs, since Sakurai supposedly said Brawl might be his last Smash game
  • The announcement of Halo 4 surprised many people, especially given that Bungie explicitly stated that Halo 3 would finish the Master Chief's storyline (the teaser trailer picks up exactly where Halo 3's bonus epilogue left off).
  • The announcement of Dragon Quest IX appearing on the Nintendo DS, a handheld (previously Dragon Quest appeared on handheld only in the form of remakes of old games), was at a Square Enix press conference held on December 2006.
    • Two years later, Dragon Quest X was announced to be appearing on the Wii. While still a megaton in its own right, it wasn't total surprise compared to the previous game's announcement, as Wii is the top selling console in Japan the world.
  • Nintendo's out-of-the-blue announcement of their acquisition of Monolith Soft in early 2007 was quite a shocker. Especially since Monolith had done way more work on Sony's Play Station 2 (Xenosaga) than Nintendo's Game Cube (Baten Kaitos). The merger had many JRPG fans salivating at the idea of having many hard-hitting RPGs again hitting Nintendo's home console and handheld, and first party games at that. Three years later, aside from a couple licensed DS games published by other companies, everything has been No Export for You for anyone outside of Japan.
  • E3 2008, Final Fantasy XIII is announced to be on the Xbox 360 as well as the PS3, making it the first-ever multiplatform release of the main series (save for XI, which was an MMORPG, and putting that on the PC as well wasn't really a surprise). And for the PAL region crowd the announcement that it would be released near-simultaneously with the North-American release had quite the whiplash effect after years of having six month waits between ports as the norm.
    • Before that, Square's 1996 announcement that they were moving from Nintendo to the Play Station was a shocker.
  • The 2008 announcement of Mega Man 9, one of , if not the first completely new game made by a professional company that is entirely 8-bit in this day and age. The fact it's not on a handheld is even more surprising.
  • Metroid: Other M at E3 2009. Not only was the announcement of a new, pseudo-2D Metroid game for a console from a second- or third-party developer other than Retro Studios (Tecmo's Team Ninja).
  • Microsoft's announcement of the X Box 360 'Slim'/'Stealthbox'. Announced June 14 at E3, shipped out to stores... that same day.
  • Nintendo's E3 2010. Donkey Kong Country Returns. Kid Icarus Uprising. Kirbys Epic Yarn. That right there is three different series revivals that fans have been clamoring for years. The idea of a sidescrolling Kirby game on the Wii in particular had reached near Duke Nukem Forever levels of Vaporware, especially since the last Kirby side-scroller on a console was for the N 64. Of course, Donkey Kong Country hasn't had a side-scroller since the SNES days and has lacked an installment since the N 64, while poor Pit hasn't seen a standalone game since the days of the original Game Boy.
  • Sony's E3 2010 being interrupted by G La DOS "deploying" Gabe Newell of Valve as a "surprise," leading to Gabe's announcement that Portal 2 will be on the PlayStation 3 with many of Steam's features, which is even more of a megaton when putting his hatred of the console pre-announcement in consideration.
  • PAX 2010. 10 AM PST. Duke Nukem Forever playable demo. Cue the Flying Pigs.
  • At the 1991 CES, Nintendo and Sony were expected to announce the PlayStation CD add-on for the SNES. However, they announced the scrapping of the Sony deal; instead announcing a deal with Philips, and in so doing, creating their own worst enemy for the next two generations.
  • The act that killed the Sega Saturn: Sega of America's head announces that the Saturn "is in stores now, for $399", Sega's big announcement. (Well ahead of the proposed "Saturnday", at that.) Then the head of Sony walks up to the microphone and declares the Play Station's price: "$299."
  • Any revival of a series that comes more or less unannounced, such as Fallout 3, Metroid Prime, and Golden Sun Dark Dawn.
    • Street Fighter IV wasn't a revival in the true sense of the word since Capcom Sequel Stagnation resulted in quite a few SF games on the market over the preceding years, but the fact remains that the announcement of a new numbered title still came completely out of nowhere and resulted in immediate Photoshops of the Weather Channel displaying Hell's temperature at -400°.
      • It counts, producer Yoshinori Ono has stated that prior to him convincing the higher ups to green light IV, the general attitude at Capcom was that they would never make a new Street Fighter game ever again.
    • Capcom's presence at TGS 2010 seemed like casual Kinect fare at first, right up until Microsoft's conference showed a Steel Battalion sequel, of all things...also on Kinect. And as if that wasn't enough for Microsoft, they also announced a Radiant Silvergun remake for XBLA due in 2011!
  • The reveal that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was in development, especially since most fans had lost any hope for a sequel due to Capcom losing the rights to make Marvel games almost a decade ago. And to think that Hell had yet to recover from suddenly freezing back in 2007.
  • Many mergers and buyouts. Microsoft buying Bungie had been the fodder of April Fools' Day pranks on a number of occasions before it actually did happen.
    • Heck, the X Box itself came right out of deep space.
  • Starcraft II; as quoted by Tychus Findlay:

  Hell, it's about time.

Other Media

  • Microsoft's $150 million investment into Apple announced at the 1997 Macworld Trade Expo. Bill Gates appeared via satellite link on the big presenation screen, causing people to think of Apple's 1984 Super Bowl ad.
    • Earlier, Apple partnering with archnemesis IBM on the Power Mac.
    • And later, Apple switching from PowerPC to Intel, but that was rather hypocritical of them (given that the entire time Apple ran with PPC they were bashing x86 left and right).
      • Still able to deliver a good Take That as they did so:

  What's an Intel processor doing in a Mac? Far more than it could do in a PC.

      • Nevertheless, this announcement remains, to this day, a massive Base Breaker, as many nerds give Intel the dubious honor of being the only company in the computer industry with a worse ethical track record than Microsoft, which is no small feat!
    • The Mac's introduction was a Megaton Announcement in and of itself. While it wasn't good for much due to its meager specs, the fact that what it could do was now available to normal people instead of just researchers at PARC or MIT (and at a decent price point for the time) was a huge deal back in 1984.
  • The computer industry in general is good at these:
    • Way back in The Eighties, Sperry Univac merged with Burroughs to form Unisys (known as the "dinosaurs mating" merger, as both companies were known for their early mainframes).
    • Compaq's introduction of the Deskpro/386 in 1986, beating IBM to the punch by almost a year.
      • Compaq buying DEC in 1998, followed by HP buying Compaq in 2002.
    • Even the peripherals market isn't immune; Maxtor bought its next-bigger competitor, Quantum, in 2000, then Seagate bought the whole thing in 2006. Back in 1989, when Seagate had a bad reputation as a maker of cheap, slow drives for cheap PCs, their purchase of Control Data's high-end disk drive business was a big deal, as well. And now Western Digital is buying Hitachi GST (the descendant of the IBM division that invented the hard drive).
    • Oracle buying Sun
    • The most gobsmacking moment of the dotcom boom, AOL buying Time Warner. Yes, an ISP bought one of the major movie studios, a big publisher and a bunch of TV channels. No, that wasn't the wrong way around.
  • Just before CES 2008, Time Warner announced it was dropping HD-DVD, which folded a few months later. Warner cited greater sales of Blu-ray players other than the PlayStation 3, a result of Sony securing retailer support, which Toshiba didn't do on its own.
  • Disney bought Marvel.
  • In May 2007, ABC announced that Lost would receive a set end-date in May 2010, free of cancellation or renewal, to allow the writers to have a goal to work towards and better streamline the story. The idea that a popular TV series would be given a specified end date years ahead of time by its network was unprecedented.
  • After about a decade and a half in Development Hell and another decade on top of that since the release of the original, a stunning trailer for the sequel to Tron was unveiled to an unsuspecting audience at Comic-Con 2008. Watch the audience's reaction here. You can hear the entire auditorium having a Nerdgasm around 0:24.
  • David Eliefson rejoins Megadeth. A few years earlier, Eliefson and Face of the Band Dave Mustaine had become the bitterest of enemies due to disputes over the band's hiatus. They mended fences (very unusual considering Mustaine's legendary reputation for holding grudges) and Eliefson eventually rejoined. Cue the Flying Pigs.
    • On that same level, Van Halen and David Lee Roth reuniting, for years Eddie said that a reunion between the two would "never happen" So it really came as a shock.
    • The Eagles separated in 1980 and Don Henley said they'd play together again when hell freezes over. In 1994, they released the Hell Freezes Over album.
  • On 2003, when the BBC announced that Doctor Who was coming back. This was a fact that even shocked other divisions at the BBC, as they were just finishing up a web series intended as an unofficial revival.
  • In mid-May 2011, it was revealed that DC Comics had big news concerning their comic titles following the end of Crisis Crossover Flashpoint to be revealed in June. However, on May 31st, they revealed that at the end of Flashpoint, all current DC titles would end, be given brand new number 1s and the entire DC Universe would get its entire continuity rebooted (again). Plus on the distribution side of things, all the new series will be available digitally on the same day as the print versions.
    • Similarly, the announcement of Ken Penders' copyright lawsuit against Archie Comics, and subsequent rebooting of the latter's Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, caught everyone off-guard, leading to huge speculation as to whether the two were related.
  • Tokusatsu fans have been more or less bowled over by the announcement of Superhero Wars Kamen Rider Vs Super Sentai featuring 200 Sentai members and 40 Riders.

Professional Wrestling

  • Kurt Angle becoming part of TNA in 2006.
  • The announcement that the WWF had purchased WCW; up until the announcement, nobody really knew who was going to end up buying the company.
  • For the CHIKARA fanbase: the announcement that joshi legend Manami Toyota would be making her United States debut in September 2010 for CHIKARA. And that she would be facing, in the same weekend, Sara Del Rey and Daizee Haze (Haze in a singles match, Del Rey in a mixed tag match where BDK teammates Del Rey and Claudio Castagnoli take on Toyota and Mike Quackenbush).

Tabletop Games

  • The announcement that Konami had officially taken back control of the western distribution of the Yu-Gi-Oh! card game - and that former distributor Upper Deck Entertainment had sued them for over $75 MILLION for breach of contract - floored duelists all across the TCG, with comparisons to a similar debacle between Nintendo and Wizards of the Coast over the Pokémon card game readily applied.
    • And then it got worse for UDE, with a few Blizzard employees leaving Blizzard and founding a new company solely to take control of the World of Warcraft trading card game away from them, in the wake of the above lawsuit ending in Konami's favor. The breach of contract, by the way? UDE was accused of counterfeiting cards for Yu-Gi-Oh. What this does to the reputation of one of the most venerable trading card companies in the world (don't forget their baseball card business)...
      • And then, just to add insult to injury, there's the announcement that 4 Kids Entertainment is caught in a legal battle over the rights to the anime, allegedly due to accusations of pocketing kickbacks from distributions they allowed 3rd parties to make (sound familiar?), and has even gone so far as to file for bankruptcy to prevent any release of Yu-Gi-Oh Ze Xal by another dubbing company. At this point, fans are left wondering if the franchise is becoming Anime's Butt Monkey.
  • Magic: The Gathering does this every now and again just to keep things interesting. Recent events include the Timeshifted cards, the Mythic Rares, the new rules changes and particularly confirming the recent Priceless Treasures promotion was not fake.
    • Depending on how much weight one puts on the storyline, the recent announcement that the third set in the Scars of Mirrodin block will be New Phyrexia may qualify. Particularly the part where " coming". Along with a really powerful Planeswalker card.
    • Wizards of the Coast's purchase of the Dungeons and Dragons franchise also counts.
      • And Hasbro buying Wizards, and also Avalon Hill, so they owned the entire industry (heck, they even own SPI).
  • For a decade, Games Workshop had a policy of not launching new games, focusing their in-house efforts on their three big sellers (Warhammer 40000, Warhammer, and The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game), while a subsidiary supported existing side-games. The in 2009 they announced the release of a new edition of the long out-of-print classic Space Hulk with all-new, top-of-the-line components.
    • Recently, Games Workshop has also announced something they haven't done for about a decade. A new Dark Eldar codex. There were rumors beforehand, but once everyone saw the models, they were floored.
      • This really can't be emphasised enough; after close to a decade of speculation and almost annual rebirths of the rumoured "DE are back announcement" the fanbase was more-or-less resigned to it never happening, to the point that even the announcement on the official website was treated with scepticism. Then Games Day happened. Photographs everywhere, swiftly followed by nerdgasms over what might be the company's most technically and artistically accomplished miniatures to date.


  • Verizon coming to the iPhone
    • Heck, how about the original iPhone announcement? There had been rumors about an Apple phone for the better part of a decade, and they built up just before the event, but nobody had any idea what it would look like—the best guess was that it would be a sort of "iPod phone". Then Apple demoed a device with never-before-seen multitouch gestures, a beautifully sharp screen, butter-smooth animation, an amazingly capable web browser, innovative SMS and voicemail features, better media capabilities than the iPod, a killer Maps app, a scaled down version of OS X as its operating system, and a user interface that actually made all these features easy to discover and use. The industry couldn't have been more blindsided if they'd imported them from the Star Trek universe.
      • Given that the next major development of the technology was the iPad, which is basically a PADD, who says they didn't?
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