The website had reached over 7,000 Facebook Likes in the weeks following the announcement of Modern Warfare 3 and looked confusingly similar to Activision’s official MW3 site. And the site even added new features in the past couple weeks including a newsletter for announcements, videos, pre-order links, and a forum that was slated to launch.
But now the site ModernWarfare3.com (which is currently not owned by Activision), returns a “404″ not found page on the web — a move that may have been prompted by Activision’s lawyers after witnessing the site’s growth and similar look to its own official site, which can be found at callofduty.com/mw3.
Although it’s difficult to tell whether the site is just down for something as simple as maintenance, this is the first time since Activision’s newest title was leaked that ModernWarfare3.com has been offline for a significant time period. In this case, days not hours.
Activision and ModernWarfare3.com
The big question is whether Activision is even trying to acquire the domain.
The company doesn’t have a strong trackrecord of buying domain names on the aftermarket, at least publicly. Nor has the company ever filed and won a formal domain dispute, according to a quick query at UDRPSearch.com.
As an example of Activision’s poor track record with domains, last year the company registered several names for possible future game titles including: callofdutyfuturewarfare.com, callofdutyfuturewarfare2.com, callofdutyfuturewarfare3.com, and a number of variations including codfuturewarefare.com, codfuturewarfare2.com, and codfuturewarfare3.com. The company also registered secretwarfare2.com, secretwarfare3.com, spacewarfare2.com and spacewarfare3.com. But what you might notice about the list is not what the company purchased, but more so what the company didn’t — generic domains like futurewarfare.com or spacewarfare.com.
Regardless of the company’s history with domains, this time though when it comes to a domain it doesn’t own, the company may finally be honing in.
Considering Modern Warfare 3 is set to be one of the company’s biggest launches to date in November 2011 and will coincide with the launch of its own online social network called: Call of Duty Elite, the registrant information could be changing soon, just like Halo4.com did yesterday – as reported here on Fusible and covered by Gawker Media’s Kotaku.