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Domain warfare: Call of Duty URL captured by Battlefield 3

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Battlefield 3 - EA

First-person shooter heavyweights Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 will turn their virtual wars into a very real one as they fight for control over your game console this fall.

But the two companies behind the games have already started sniping.

Astute gamers noticed that the URL modernwarfare3.com -- clearly a site that should be owned and operated by Call of Duty publisher Activision -- redirects to none other than the official site for...Battlefield 3. Is rival publisher EA suddenly involved in the seedy business of domain trolling?

Not so much. More likely, it's the work of a disgruntled gamer. A search for the site's owner brings up an anonymous registration, and according to Fusible, the domain has in the past lashed out at Activision and the Call of Duty franchise in general.

"On November 8, 2011, the most over-hyped first-person action series of all-time returns with the copy and paste sequel to the lackluster Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2," read part of a snarky message posted on the site prior to the redirect. "Pre-Order Call of Duty MW3 Today for Xbox 360, PS3, and PC to secure exclusive bonuses only available online for Modern Warfare 3 fanboys who don't know that Battlefield 3 is the better game."

Though this particular slice of online invective isn't coming from EA directly, the two companies have become increasingly critical of one another over the past few months.
EA has publically proclaimed that Battlefield 3 has been built specifically to 'take down' Call of Duty, and the EA brass reportedly refused to let Activision CEO Bobby Kotick get a demo of the game at the recent E3 expo. Kotick, meanwhile, has expressed doubt that Battlefield 3 will perform as well on consoles as its developers claim (the title has only been shown publically running on a PC).

While Battlefield 3 nabbed loads of awards at E3, EA has plenty of reason to worry. Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan believes that sales of Modern Warfare 3 could potentially eclipse the record-setting mark of last year's Call of Duty: Black Ops.

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