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Activision shuts down Warzone's largest stat tracking site

Warzone Outbreak Event
(Image credit: Activision, Raven Software, Treyarch)
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Last week Activision ordered the Call of Duty stats site SBMM Warzone to shut down by today, March 29. The site's administrators have announced that the site has been taken down and are embarking on a somewhat belated campaign to become an Activision partner. The Belgium-based site announced the closure in a tweet, again asking Activision to reach out for a solution.

Per the creators of SBMM Warzone, Activision's letter claims that the site violates Activision's API terms of use and infringes the company's copyright, among other violations of privacy laws in both the European Union and United States. Activision's complaint seems, primarily, to be a concern with a potential breach of privacy.

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Monetisation is not mentioned, but SBMM Warzone did run adverts, as well as a premium membership program for between $4 and $6 a month. This unlocks additional data aggregation options.

The co-founders insist that the monetisation is not Activision's problem, so much as the data privacy stuff: hence their appeal to become an Activision data partner (see below). It should be said that SBMM Warzone is a relatively new site, but has quickly gained enormous reach—as the recent top result for Warzone stats, the internet traffic site Alexa ranked it as the 6000th most popular website in the world.

We've reached out to the site's creators about the situation. Co-founder Ben says they've had no further contact with Activision: "No, never. We’ve tried to contact them but no luck. We thought that they would reach out in a friendlier manner, especially because we are convinced we are a plus to the game."

Is he optimistic they can find a way forward for the site? "Hard to say, as we don’t have the opportunity to hear them out completely. But [with] the information I have in my possession, I'd say it’s gonna be close. I want to believe they will still reach out and we can make something great for the community."

Finally we asked about the situation for premium members of the site, should its creators and Activision be unable to come to an arrangement. "First, we’ll try to make the partnership with Activision work. But, if it doesn’t, we’ll reach out to everyone and see what we can do. Obviously, we won’t keep any money we don’t deserve."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."