Californian band No Doubt appears in Band Hero, the latest entry in Activision’s long line of Hero videogames. However, all is not well in the land of licensed music videogame spin-offs.
TMZ reports that band members are unhappy about how their in-game avatars can be used to “sing, dance, and perform” any of the sixty songs in the game, only three of which are by No Doubt themselves. This, claims a lawsuit filed by the band against Activision, “transformed No Doubt band members into a virtual karaoke circus act.”
A particular sore point for the band is the fact that Gwen Stefani’s digital avatar can be used to sing about “having sex with prostitutes” in “Honky Tonk Woman” by the Rolling Stones … in a male voice. That said, Activision seems ready to fight its corner on this, according to a statement it just released:
“Activision has a written agreement to use No Doubt in Band Hero – an agreement signed by No Doubt after extensive negotiations with its representatives, who collectively have decades of experience in the entertainment industry […] Activision believes it is within its legal rights with respect to the use and portrayal of the band members in the game and that this lawsuit is without merit.”
If you’re sat there thinking, “This totally reminds me of a very similar, recent story,” you may be thinking of Courtney Love’s promise to “sue the shit” out of Activision for its (admittedly tactless) use of Kurt Cobain’s image in Guitar Hero 5.
Personally I don’t get these claims made by artists. I mean, as if anybody actually looks at what’s going on in the background when playing these things. Seriously, I’m so bloody focused on those scrolling bars of colored dots during gameplay that there could be four pieces of human-sized broccoli playing the instruments and I’d be none the wiser.