Activision is currently in a feud with an unrelated browser game called ‘Warzone’ and it’s not hard to see why. As reported by PC Gamer, the developer of the browser game, who snagged ‘warzone.com‘ before CoD: Warzone was even a thing, sent a cease-and-desist to Activision. The latter subsequently filed a complaint at the United States District Court for the Central District of California.
Activision vs warzone.com
Warzone – obviously easily confused with Call of Duty: Warzone – is a very simple strategy game in the spirit of Risk. Players deploy troops on a world map and try to conquer the rest of the available land. Unlike CoD: Warzone, which is a high-octane shooter in the battle royale subgenre.
According to Fizzer, the man behind the simplistic browser game, people might confuse his trademark Warzone browser game with Activision’s BR-hit. It seems that warzone.com launched years before CoD: Warzone was even a thing. On the other hand, Activision claims it filed for a trademark on ‘warzone’ months before warzone.com did so.
This one isn’t as clear as some other copyright disputes. For starters because a tiny browser game-developer sent the cease-and-desist, not the multi-billion dollar company, as is usual. Additionally, given the nature of both games, it doesn’t seem to matter who owns the trademark. Or as Activision puts it bluntly:
Call of Duty: Warzone could not be more different from Defendant’s game, a low-budget, niche virtual board game like Hasbro’s Risk. (…) It is inconceivable that any member of the public could confuse the two products or believe that they are affiliated with or related to each other.
Still, it’s a bit confusing that ‘warzone.com’ isn’t home to the wildly popular battle royale game. Instead, the website invites you to play a barebones, shallow strategy game.
The court hasn’t put out a verdict as of writing. Just imagine a tiny browser game legally taking the namesake of one of the biggest games ever. That is however highly unlikely. Maybe Activision just throws Fizzer a bone for his troubles?
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