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Activision creating a buzz over domain name that contains the word “Murder”

Murder Your Maker

Registered on Nov. 11, 2010, the domain name has been creating a buzz in the gamer community. 

Although the domain is registered under MarkMonitor, the company that helps companies with brand protection, it’s owned by Activision who has been releasing teasers for the upcoming Spike TV Video Game Awards where the game (which is rumored to be Prototype 2) will be unveiled.

Videogames and domain names

I come across interesting “domain” stories since I’ve started a new blog about military video games over at MilitaryGamer including stories about BuyDomains: here and  here.  But none of the material I’ve come across has been as interesting as the commentary on Activision’s URL.

Bloggers and journalists in the gamer community have been talking about the domain name for weeks, not only because they’ve been guessing at what game is behind the web site, but also because of the use of the word “murder” in the name.

Here’s a look at what Catalin Alexandru, who writes for TFTS had to say:

We don’t get why the word “murder” attracts so much attention. People say they’re going to kill each other all the time, but just try yelling something about murder to your wife in a crowded restaurant. Don’t get us wrong, people will be looking either way, but just say the word “murder” and those stares will gain some heavy implications instantly.

Murder domain names

While the word “murder” in a domain certainly draws attention, publicly reported sales of domain names with the keyword “murder” have not.

According to sales history provided by DomainTools, only a handful of sales have taken place.

Domain Date Sold Price Location Feb 12,2010 $99.00 SnapNames Nov 10,2009 $65.00 SnapNames Jan 8,2009 $150.00 Nov 5,2008 $70.00 Oct 14,2008 $99.00 SnapNames Oct 11,2008 $69.00 SnapNames

The keyword “murder” according to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool had about 60,500 exact search last month, globally.

Disputes News Trademarks Video Games

Activision knows a thing or two about ‘Call of Duty’ domain names (or do they?)

call of duty black ops

You might remember when news broke that Activision had registered a number of domains such as and  The website superannuation had announced a fresh new batch of names registered by Activision shortly after the company purchased the names in May. 

Mary Tuck, one of the company’s attorneys, is not only responsible for registering the names, but she also files trademarks on behalf of the company according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office web site at  The same day the company registered the names on May 11, it also filed for the trademarks.

The superannuation article linked to the Whois records on the popular domain company site – DomainTools and it sparked a flurry of stories across gaming and technology sites. 

Out of those dozen or so names though, nothing yet has been developed.  In fact, none of the names resolve to any kind of website at the time of this story. 

While rumors swirl about Activision’s next Call of Duty game, the company seems to be improving its understanding of domain names. 

Call of Duty Domains

Call of Duty Black Ops, its latest title released earlier this month, is being considered a game-changer with sales shattering records all over the world.  Activision does own, but it failed to register other variations.

If you notice the domains registered in May, the company picked up a number of variations of possible titles.  For example, instead of just registering – the company also registered and for a possible Call of Duty Future Warfare game

No surprise, had been registered for years before, so Activision didn’t get its hands on the simplest version of the name.  The name is owned by BuyDomains.  And if shorter and memorable names are any indicator of value, Activision should probably buy the name now while its listed for a reasonable price of $3,788 (before someone else does)., another name it doesn’t own, has seen a huge spike in traffic to its web site over the last several months, which is likely to grow with the game’s popularity.

Trademark infringing domains

glaswegianWhen it came to registering domain names for its most successful title to date, Activision missed registering names like – a habit it’s now getting into by registering domain names with ‘cod’ (as in, Call of Duty) in the front. 

With, the owner Stephen Girvan currently has a web site online that has seen a surge in traffic. 

Visit the site, and click on the home page, and you’ll be taken to an article entitled: ‘Video Game Giants are Bullying Me’

The article discusses Stephen’s dispute with Activision over domain names, which started after: ‘he created a “clan” website in January to allow him and his friends to post scores online of their favourite game, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.  At the beginning of March, Stephen, of Maryhill, says he renamed the website to after asking members to come up with a name.’

At this point what comes of the dispute isn’t known, but one thing is for sure: Activision is starting to get better at registering domain names. 

My only advice is that the company should purchase while it can.

The phrase ‘Future Warfare’ is generic, and used among military and military scholars.  But that hasn’t stopped Activision from filing for a trademark – which it did on May 11, 2010 (along with Call of Duty Futurewarfare).