***Update*** Confusion reigned supreme over who owned the URL in question here, so let's try this story again, eh?***
All's fair in love and Modern Warfare, right? At least, that's what someone seems to be thinking. Amazingly, Activision has overlooked the need to own the domain name www.modernwarfare3.com which has allowed an unknown party to redirect any traffic to that name squarely onto Battlefield 3's official website. Ouch.
Initially, we assumed this was a monumental PR stunt but, of course, US law doesn't allow for that sort of thing and if anyone's legal team is going to know where it stands, it's Electronic Arts'. But nevertheless, we should imagine EA are laughing pretty hard from the safety of the sidelines.
Try it yourself - open a new tab in your browser, type in 'www.modernwarfare3.com' and hit enter. You'll end up with this:
Above: One of the best PR stunts in modern history? Or just lighting the fuse of an Activision-shaped bomb?
Interestingly, if you type 'www.battlefield3.com' into the address bar it doesn't go to the same site, but still an official Battlefield splash page.
It's worth noting, of course, that less than a month ago, the internet was ablaze after Battlefield's executive producer Patrick Bach claimed that his game is not in direct competition with Modern Warfare 3. He told PSM3:
"Everyone wants there to be a fight between us - and I understand that - but the problem is if you say it's a 'fight,' you're assuming you're competing at the same sport. We have so many things in our game that aren't a part of Modern Warfare, so it really comes down to personal preference. You choose based on the depth you want, the maturity level, your own personal taste... it's all about how you get your fix."
If there's one thing this interesting situation does not exude, it's maturity. Still, it looks like the fans are going to see that fight they wanted after all. Expect there to be plenty of casualties in this war, in which there can only be one winner. Our money's on... er... Bodycount. Yup.
12 July, 2011