In an interview with The Escapist, the group behind the modernwarfare4.com hostage taking details its nefarious plan to extort millions, destroy Infinity Ward and bring a gaming empire to its knees.
It was revealed yesterday that a previously unknown group calling itself the ZiiP Gaming Community had taken control of the modernwarfare4.com domain and threatened to kill a clown if its outrageous ransom demands weren’t met. While Modern Warfare 4 likely won’t be seen for several years – Modern Warfare 2 isn’t being released until November, after all – gamers around the world nonetheless held their breath as they awaited Infinity Ward’s response to this callous and chilling act.
Okay, so maybe it’s not quite that dramatic. In fact, according to the ZiiP Community member known as Jester, the domain was actually purchased months ago and then forgotten until now. “Infinity Ward released Call of Duty, then COD2, then something went sort of awry and they released COD4:MW – I guess it was very late in the night by this point and something jokingly inside my head made me think that maybe IW were superstitious about the number 3 and that they’d miss it again with the Modern Warfare sequels,” he said. “So I checked for the ‘4’ domain – and was surprised to see it was available.”
“There was nothing malicious or any serious intent to make money out of owning the domain,” he continued. “When I placed the message on the site asking for a copy of a game for all of my members I did so because I didn’t want to make any actual cash from the domain. I just figured that IW would have promo copies of the game lying around the place and I was trying to do something nice for my little community that has stuck together for the past 4 or 5 years and paid hundreds and hundreds of pounds out to software developers.”
He was also apparently naive about what would happen when word of the “hostage taking” got out. “I woke up to what I thought would be a bog standard Wednesday, and it has turned out to be one of the funniest of my gaming history,” he said. “I don’t think I could have put the ZiiP name around more globally if I had tried! All for a £6 domain name!”
Ultimately, Jester and the team at ZiiP are only in this for a little bit of fun and he said that if Infinity Ward wants the domain back, he’ll give it up. “This is all very tongue-in-cheek. We are not holding IW to ransom. If they really want the domain, they can have it – hopefully without snotty letters from lawyers,” he said. “We hope they see the funny side… One of my members said to me today that we should organize a match/scrim with the IW developers, and whoever wins gets the domain! A good idea… although knowing ZiiP, we’d probably teamkill each other and get thrashed.”
Infinity Ward still has not commented and its silence becomes more ominous with each passing hour. Will they give in to the ransom demand? Or will they send in the QA department to clean house? Stay tuned!