November 24, 2010
Axl Rose Suing Guitar Hero Creator
Axl Rose has filed a $20 million lawsuit against "Guitar Hero" maker Activision, claming that its use of the Guns N' Roses song "Welcome to the Jungle" violated a deal not to include any imagery of ex-guitarist Saul Hudson, more commonly known as Slash.
Rose and his Black Frog Music company claim in a Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday that Activision Blizzard fraudulently induced Rose into authorizing "Jungle" for use in "Guitar Hero III" by telling him during negations that it would not feature any reference to the former Guns N' Roses member or his subsequent band Velvet Revolver."(Activision) began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in 'Guitar Hero III,' but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle,'" the complaint states.
Once Rose discovered that a Slash-like character and Velvet Revolver songs would be included in Guitar Hero, he said he immediately rescinded the authorization for "Jungle." However, Activision allegedly lied and told him the inclusion was just for the purposes of a trade show.
According to the complaint, Guitar Hero III came out and its box cover featured "an animated depiction of Slash, with his signature black top hat, long dark curly hair, dark sunglasses and nose-piercing." The former Guns N' Rose guitarist was all over Guitar Hero III.
Rose said that the Guns N' Roses song "Sweet Child 'O Mine" was used in an online promotion for Guitar Hero III, despite only being licensed for Guitar Hero II. He wants $20 million in damages from sales of the popular game.
"This lawsuit is about protecting Guns N' Roses and 'Welcome to the Jungle,' and is about holding Activision accountable for its misuse of these incredibly valuable assets," says Rose lawyer Skip Miller, "The relief we are seeking is disgorgement of profits and compensatory and punitive damages."
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