Activision/ Band Hero
Activision/ Band Hero
Listen, if Gwen Stefani wanted to croon like a dude about doing it with hookers, don't you think she would have done it by now?
Unfortunately, the makers of the newly released Band Hero didn't take the hint and allowed for the avatar of No Doubt's frontwoman to be manipulated into doing just that. Which means only one thing: lawsuit time!
The rock band has filed suit against the video game purveyor Activision, alleging fraudulent inducement and breach of contract, claiming that while Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont and Adrian Young all signed off on allowing their likenesses to be used, it came with the stipulation that the company could only employ the use of three of their songs, "Don't Speak," "Excuse Me Mr." and "Just a Girl."
Apparently the technical brain-boxes at Activison didn't take the hint from that last song title.
The gamemakers allow players to manipulate Stefani and crew so they can perform more than 60 songs—and here's the sticking point—of other artists, turning the No Doubters, per the lawsuit, into little more than "a virtual karaoke circus act."
The song No Doubt seems to have taken the most issue with is the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Woman," claiming that manipulation "results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes."
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
The lawsuit makes clear that "No Doubt are avid fans of the Rolling Stones and even have performed with the Rolling Stones."
What the band members are not avid fans of is the Character Manipulation feature, which deceives users into believing the band "approves and endorses the appearance of its members individually performing songs that are wholly inappropriate and out of character for No Doubt," per the lawsuit.
The company, as expected, has defended its artistic license with the likenesses.
"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," they said in a statement.
Stefani and cohorts aren't the only big names objecting to their pixilated alter egos. Courtney Love threatened to sue Activision earlier this year after similar manipulation on Guitar Hero 5 resulted in Kurt Cobain's avatar belting out tunes from other bands.
No Doubt is seeking unspecified damages, an injunction preventing Activision from distributing any more of the game, and the recall of all existing copies of Band Hero.
That last one could be a little tricky. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday, just one day after the highly anticipated installment of the franchise hit stores.
UPDATE: An undisclosed settlement was entered into the record on Oct. 1, 2012, according to court documents. A rep for No Doubt had no comment.
Get a load of Gwen the way she really wants to be seen: flashing her delicates in the airport!