It’s official, Fortnite fever is spreading, but it’s not a bad thing so if you get it, smile and enjoy. If you don’t know what Fortnite is, it’s one of my new favorite game and I’m not alone in saying that. Here’s a quick one sentence description of the game in case you’ve been living in a cave and just emerged to get one bar of signal so you could download and read this post:
Fortnite (noun) – a video game where the goal is to stay alive for as long as possible on an island with ~99 other people and lots of weapons, ammo, and tools to build temporary protection or elaborate forts.
If that sentence just leaves you hanging and you want to know more, here’s a great video that does a much deeper dive into all things Fortnite. As more and more people play Fornite, more and more people are buying domain names with the word “Fortnite” in it. According to Verisign, the company that owns and operates .COM, the word “Fortnite” was the third most popular keyword used in domain name registrations in March. Here’s the top ten compliments of Domain Name Wire:
It will be interesting to see what moves Epic Games, the makers of Fortnite take now and in the future to protect their brand. There’s no way they can go after everyone who registered domains with the word “Fortnite” in it, heck it’s a generic word itself that actually means “a unit of time equal to two weeks.” Still – if someone registers a domain name with the word Fortnite in it, and puts up a website about Fortnite the game, Epic Games might not be a happy camper – just saying.
At the same time video game companies have long seen people register domains with their games in the name and build forums and other fan sites on them. I haven’t personally tracked how many of those end up becoming the subject of a UDRP but I’ll be interested to see what happens with all the Fortnite names that are getting registered right now.
What do you think? Does Epic Games have the right to some of these domains given that they contain the name of their popular game and were registered after the game was famous? I’m not a lawyer so I couldn’t tell you but it feels like if someone registered a domain with the word “Fortnite” in it five years ago, sure – you probably couldn’t predict this game would come out and be a hit. If you registered a domain with the word “Fortnite” in it last month, well you probably did it because you wanted to see if you could cash in on the Fortnite craze…or at least that’s my two cents.
Enough from me, I want to hear from you. Comment and let your voice be heard!