Top 10 Stories of 2011: #2 Activision battles for ModernWarfare3.com domain

Modern Warfare 3

Activision won rights to the domain ModernWarfare3.com in early September, bringing a saga that dragged on for months to a close.

My coverage of the whole affair from beginning to end drew thousands of thousands of page views, along with mentions from nearly every major video gaming news site and blog.

It was Activision’s decision to file a domain dispute over ModernWarfare3.com that earned the number two spot in the Top 10 stories of 2011.

The coverage began in January 2011, when I wrote about Activision missing out on several Modern Warfare domain names, including ModernWarfare3.com. 

In May, information and dates were leaked on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 to Kotaku

Shortly after the online buzz started, the owner of ModernWarfare3.com put up a website and literally gained thousands of fans on Facebook overnight.  Then the website abruptly went offline for days, in what appeared to be a response by the owner to Activision’s lawyers. 

When the site came back online however, the same owner launched a revamped website that lashed out at Activision, in a series of statements and videos, throwing support instead to Call of Duty’s biggest competitor – Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3.

Still, at this point, no one else was covering it.

It was my story on ModernWarfare3.com re-directing to EA’s Battlefield 3 website in July that started drawing attention by sites like Kotaku.  The move to forward the domain proved embarrassing for Activision.

What followed were a series of breaking stories that continued to draw massive traffic.

In mid July, Activision officially filed a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum that I got my hands on. 

After the complaint was filed, Go Daddy removed the privacy service on the domain, revealing the identity of the owner.

In September, Activision triumphed and the domain was ordered transferred.

By October, the domain resolved to CallofDuty.com.

If Activision decides to release a Modern Warfare 4, it may want to handle things a little differently.  As of today, ModernWarfare4.com doesn’t belong to Activision.

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