A group of gamers with a lot of patience has taken the modernwarfare4.com domain hostage and they're not going to give it up unless Infinity Ward caves in to their demands.
Sometimes people do things that are "bad" in the technical sense of the word, but also admirable for the way they subvert conventional lines of thinking. Say, for instance, hijacking a domain name for a game that doesn't even exist (but almost certainly will) and then holding it for ransom - not for money, but just for some free stuff.
So it is with Modern Warfare 4, the fourth entry in a franchise that's still comprised of exactly one single game. Modern Warfare 2 is still months away, Modern Warfare 3 is at best in the preliminary design phase and Modern Warfare 4 is nothing more than a solid bet. Yet for the devious minds of the Ziip Gaming Community, it's also a potential gold mine. Have a look at modernwarfare4.com and you'll see why.
"Hello Again! After reading recent articles on this site, I have been forced to change our policy on this domain," a message on the site says. "As I have received emails calling me a blackmailer, we have decided to wear balaclavas and make some real demands. If you want to talk - contact [email protected]."
That message is an update of the group's original demand for a "goodwill gesture" in exchange for the domain: A copy of Modern Warfare 4 for every member of the Ziip community. And no, that's not a typo, that's a demand for copies of Modern Warfare 4. These guys are obviously playing the long game.
How will this drama play out? The studio could probably use some kind of cybersquatter law to force the release of the domain, but as long as Ziip maintains "reasonable" demands, hopefully nobody will get the urge to turn this into something ugly. And with Modern Warfare 4 looking like a good prospect for, say, 2013, there's plenty of time for hard negotiations.