It Could Be Nothing, But…
Four top level domains–sonicadventure3.com, sonicadventure3.net, sonicadventure3.org, and sonicadventure3.info–have all been registered on or around April 22nd of this year by an unknown party, TSSZ has learned.
At present, all pages presently point to a default landing page, and nowhere near Sega’s own website.
In the past, Sega had a tendency to register domains for upcoming titles before a formal announcement, either in-house or via third parties, as a means to protect company IP. The way these domains were registered, however, gives plenty of cause for suspicion. This time around, the registrant is the French division of 1&1 Internet, a company primarily focused on web hosting. That is a change from the last three times a Sonic domain was registered. Domains for Sonic Generations, Sonic Free Riders, and Sonic the Hedgehog 4 all eventually fell under the management of EuroDNS, where they remain today. Consider also that, even if Sega’s French division was behind the registration of these, the arm closed its doors last month, along with numerous other subdivisions of Sega Europe.
So, the pattern here doesn’t really match Sega’s past behavior–making the jump to an actual Sonic Adventure 3 in the works very difficult. But with the domains active for over three months, one would think Sega would have caught wind of it and take action were the registrations unauthorized. We’ll keep it under Rumor for now, but don’t hold your breath. Thanks to Sawnik98 and Sonication for tipping us.
UPDATE: Since this story was first published, we have found two more related domain registrations. One, sonicadventure3.fr, was spotted by tipster Bruno Guerrero via Twitter. We have also since found sonicadventure3.eu. Both domains appear managed by the same 1&1 Hosting division in France, and both appear registered around the same time as the aforementioned four. If this a hoax, it’s a very thorough one. We have contacts in France checking this out; if we hear anything more, we will pass it along.