Earlier today, LEGO and Warner Bros. Interactive revealed a new video game called LEGO Dimensions. It's a Skylanders type game that uses LEGO figures and vehicles from properties like DC Comics, Lord of the Rings, The Wizard of Oz, Back to the Future and more. Obviously, every video games site is covering it. That includes Polygon, from which you can see a picture of their coverage to the right.
But do you want to know how I got to that article? From LegoDimensions.com. Polygon's deputy news editor tweeted that he registered legodimensions.com yesterday — as in, the day before the game was announced. And it redirects to Polygon's coverage of it. (Archive link for proof)
That's really shady.
When I asked him how he knew to register the URL, he replied with "Rumors on the internet!" And he later clarified that he learned his "super secret info" from videogamer.com's article from March 20th, which is vague on facts and doesn't have the date the game would be announced.
Of course with a big announcement like this people are searching for more information on Lego Dimensions. The actual site for the game is Lego.com/dimensions. But in an effort to get more clicks on Polygon's coverage of the game, some really shady things took place. Legodimensions.com no longer redirects to Polygon, after much backlash, and now goes to the lego.com/dimensions site. Still, this sort of move is deceptive. I'm also not sure I buy that he bought the URL on a hunch from "rumors on the internet" dating back a month ago, and conveniently got it yesterday, the day before the game was announced.
I'm not saying some action should be taken, but damn this situation sucks. That's like me buying BlackOps3.com and have it redirect to GameZone on the off-chance that a rumor is true. Except then it gets announced the day after I buy it. See how bad that looks? It's not a look that a big website that takes pride in its journalistic integrity needs. And it's not good for other video game sites when there's already a lack of trust and faith in games journalism. Maybe it really was convenience and a joke, but that's not how it looks. It looks like they already knew the game was being announced and bought a URL up that people would try so they could get more views.
That's how it looks. But damn I'm hoping it was all really a joke.
Wikipedia: Cybersquatting. Cybersquatting (also known as domain squatting), according to the United States federal law known as the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act, is registering, trafficking in, or using an Internet domain name with bad faith intent to profit from the goodwill of a trademark belonging to someone else.Icann: Cybersquatting is generally bad faith registration of another's trademark in a domain name.