Last week, a great hoo-hah-hah was made when the URL www.ModernWarfare3.com began re-directing visitors to the official Battlefield 3 site. It was either a cruel internet prank or some inventive marketing courtesy of EA. The site has since stopped diverting users, instead aping the official MW3 site's design, mocking the game and suggesting Battlefield 3 instead. Well Activision isn't happy, and have filed a complaint against the site.
The complaint was filed by Activision on Friday, via the National Arbitration Forum. It's their first ever domain name dispute, and cost the company 2,600 USD. A paltry fee for a multi-million dollar company, but a sign of their intent in dealing with the mock-site. The owners of ModernWarfare3.com don't appear worried in the slightest; with the banner This Website Is Under Siege headlining the front-page and a scene from Life of Brian on repeat.
It's obvious why Activision is annoyed; the site mocks MW3 while bigging up BF3 in the process. "It appears that the Respondent supports the game Battlefield from the game developer Electronic Arts ("EA")," reads their complaint. BF3 is MW3's biggest competitor this year, and Activision need to be firing on all cylinder to ensure success. "EA is one of Complainant's principal competitors in the video game industry, and [the] Battlefield game competes in the marketplace with Complainant's Modern Warfare games and its other military-themed shooter games in the Call of Duty series."
Unlike the recent spate of cyber-attacks which have become pretty depressing, I'm quite tickled by this turn of events. The site doesn't pose much of a threat to Activision or Modern Warfare 3 - which is on track to break sales records, again! - but you'd expect them to squash this, more for appearances sake than necessity. [Fusible]