UPDATE: Ackk Studios contacted me earlier this afternoon, offering the following statement:

Thank you for reaching out to us about Project Y2K.

While our team is extremely excited to learn that players are excited for more information about Project Y2K, we would like everyone to please consider all screenshots/info/etc released about the game as rumors/speculation until such a time when we are ready to unveil the game officially.

Project Y2K is something that’s very important to us as a team. However: We do not want people being distracted from our upcoming project, Two Brothers, which we believe players who love RPGs, retro games, and thought-provoking storytelling are bound to enjoy.

Also, we would like to point out that when you do actually see Project Y2K, we will unveil gameplay footage, as well as additional details. 

Two things to learn about me right away, ladies and gentlemen: First of all—I’m a huge nerd, so I tend to dress the part. More often than not, I’m probably parading around in a Nintendo-themed shirt. Told you that to tell you this—as soon as our friends at Ackk Studios mentioned, “We’re going to sell Two Brothers t-shirts”, I was first in line.

Project Y2K

Secondly: I have a really bad fear of flying. I decided to wear my Two Brothers shirt en route to/during my first day in Los Angeles, prior to all the E3 festivities truly beginning. If nothing else, I considered it a good luck charm. It must have worked, because I’m still here. But just wearing that shirt put me in a rather…oddball predicament.

After we retrieved our badges, Richard, Scott, Jared and I were standing in a line to verify registration with EA, or something to that effect. I noticed some guy staring at me for a while, but I kind of chalked it up to social anxiety, or something. After a moment or two, he pulled me aside and asked where I got my t-shirt, and if I was a big fan of Ackk Studios.

Of course I am!

He went on to introduce himself after that, said he actually worked with the team doing background textures. Since I know Two Brothers wasn’t handled by anyone outside of Ackk Studios themselves, really, I wrote the guy off. I kind of begged the question though. I asked what it was like to work on Two Brothers. He said, “No, it wasn’t Two Brothers. They called it something like, Project Y2K.”

Project Y2K Teaser Image (AckkStudios.com)

My interest was piqued, of course. Lots of folks know about Two Brothers thanks to the growing presence of Brian Allanson and his team, but… Project Y2K has only been talked about among the die-hards like me. I decided to give the guy my business card. He knew all about Operation Rainfall, and promised Y2K was going to be “at least as good as Pandora’s Tower”.

Up until about a half hour ago, that’s where my story ended. Freak occurrence of some weird guy recognizing me based off a t-shirt. But…when I checked my email before heading to bed for the night, I found this.

Project Y2K

“I thought you might like to see this. It’s an early screenshot of what I was working on for Y2K”.

…Is this for real? Is it fake? What the heck is going on?

I’ve reached out to Ackk Studios (with the full details) to comment, but they haven’t replied back to me yet. In the meantime, I’m totally going forward with this, despite the late hour, if only to let fans of these guys know that we could be on the verge of a huge hoax…or not.  Who’s to say this guy won’t run to a handful of other sites and try to report it as fact?

We’ll have more information as it comes, especially once I hear what Ackk Studios has to say.

Jonathan Higgins
[Former Staff] Jonathan parted ways with Operation Rainfall on June 15th, 2014. You can follow him on Twitter @radicaldefect.