First @ TSSZ: SonicFreeRiders.com Domain Purchased by Sega

First @ TSSZ: SonicFreeRiders.com Domain Purchased by Sega

by June 11, 2010

There May be Truth to that E3 Rumor

Last week, a report surfaced that Sonic Free Riders, an alleged Natal-based Sonic title for XBOX360 may be on deck for unveiling next week at the Electronic Entertainment Expo, possibly at the Natal press event Sunday or at a second Natal presser on Monday morning.

For the moment, it remains a rumor, but TSSZ News uncovered evidence that adds fuel to it.  Through a public WHOIS domain record search, we’ve found a registration for SonicFreeRiders.com that, at present, redirects to Sega’s Games page.  The same holds true for SonicFreeRiders.co.uk.

The registrant of both is eBrand Services, a domain name management firm.  It’s the same company who most recently registered on Sega’s behalf SonicColors.com and SonicColours.com–as well as their .co.uk counterparts.  Those four domains redirect to Sega’s product page for the upcoming Nintendo Wii and DS exclusive. Furthermore, the Sonic Free Riders domains were registered very recently–this past Monday, June 7th.

But eBrand Services is also the same firm who snapped up dummy domains like sonicthehedgehog5.com and sonicthehedgehog6.com for Sega–all of which currently redirect to Sega’s website for Sonic the Hedgehog 4.  It means that despite the very specific nature of this latest round of registration, it could be in the name of brand protection and nothing more.  Timing is important in assessing the information, too: while the domains were registered on Monday, the rumor broke last Wednesday, June 2nd–so the registration could be more reactive than proactive.

If nothing else,  it adds some backing to the initial report of a Sonic Free Riders debut next week.  But don’t forget the last time we told you about a notable domain registration–that was right on the money. So, it’s worth keeping an eye on Sunday’s Project Natal event to see if this pans out.  TSSZ News editor Ryan Bloom will be, and he’ll give you the lowdown here as part of our E3 2010 coverage.