How a Twitter hoax gave false hope for a Metal Gear Solid remaster

One of many artful scenes of everyday "Big Shell" life shared by @TheTomOlsen on Twitter.

Enlarge / One of many artful scenes of everyday “Big Shell” life shared by @TheTomOlsen on Twitter. (credit: TheTomOlsen / Twitter)

Weeks ago, a mysterious Twitter account popped up to tell the story of Tom Olsen, an unassuming maintenance technician at the fictional “Big Shell” facility that served as the main setting for Metal Gear Solid 2. The unique first-person photos and videos Olsen posted from “inside” Big Shell—and the account’s interaction with the official Metal Gear Solid Twitter account—have led many to assume that “Tom Olsen” is a viral marketing campaign for an as-yet-unannounced Metal Gear Solid 2 remake.

No such luck. Instead, the account is the creation of a lone fan and self-described “Metal Gear Solid historian” who seems to be reveling a bit in the rumors and speculation he’s driving.

How rumors get started

Tom Olsen’s Twitter account describes him as a “born and bred NYer. Maintenance Technician at the Big Shell. Married 10 years to my wonderful wife Karen. Recovering Mets fan.” So far, the account has amassed nearly 4,000 followers despite only following four accounts: three related to Konami and MGS and one for the New York Mets.

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