Nintendo purchased this prime domain name from Weyerhaeuser Co., but for how much?
When Nintendo announced the name of its new video game system, the Nintendo Wii, earlier this year the company went on a Wii domain registration spree. But one domain it couldn’t register was wii.com. In May I wrote:
You should note that Nintendo doesn’t own the three character wii.com domain, which is the web site for conglomerate Weyerhaeuser. Judging from the general cluelessness of many web surfers, especially young ones, Weyerhaeuser can expect to get a lot of inquiries on its web site such as “When is Mario coming out for the Wii??â€.
Nintendo ended up striking a deal for Wii.com, and the Tacoma News Tribune has an excellent story about the deal. But the article fails to get to the bottom line: how much did Nintendo pay Weyerhaeuser (NYSE: WY) for the domain?
Weyerhaeuser picked up the domain when it purchased Willamette Industries in 2002. Weyerhauser continued to get traffic from Wii.com, but forwarded the domain to Weyerhaeuser.com.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Weyerhaeuser got over $3M for the domain. That said, Weyerhaeuser may have been interested in selling the domain to avoid getting an onslaught of misdirected email from Nintendo customers. Despite the Weyerhaeuser.com site having absolutely nothing to do with video games, people would still send emails asking how to get replacement straps for their Nintendo Wii controllers.
At the end of the day Nintendo got what it wanted. That’s more than many parents around the world can say about getting their hands on they system for Christmas, however. The system is sold out across the world. Amazon.com just finished a promotion in which you could sign up for a lottery to be able to purchase the system. Odds of winning were a measly 1 in 28. Desperate parents can still pick up the system on eBay for $450 (the system retails for $250).