Real Rock Stars Cut From Guitar Hero

Logan Westbrook

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Feb 21, 2008
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Real Rock Stars Cut From Guitar Hero



The ability to play as real musicians, which prompted a number of lawsuits, will not be making a return in Guitar Hero 6.

If you relished another round of real-life musicians to play as in the next Guitar Hero [http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=77943] game, you're going to be disappointed, as GH6 will not feature famous playable characters. That's not to say that real celebrity musicians won't be appearing in the game at all, but Activision has no plans to hand the reins over to the players.

Instead, the musicians will appear as NPCs in the game's quest mode, where players will recruit other rock stars and unlock song sets as they go. Metallica's Lars Ulrich and Gene Simmons of KISS are confirmed to be appearing, with Simmons narrating, and Ulrich seemingly one of the musicians you can recruit.

Queen, Black Sabbath, and, of course, KISS are confirmed as having songs in the game, and Guitar Hero 6 is supposedly a more "back to basics" affair than other recent titles in the series, with a "much bigger focus on rock 'n' roll."

Source: 1up [http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3179327]


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The Rogue Wolf

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I can hardly blame Activision for this. You never know who else will pull a Courtney Love [http://www.gamepolitics.com/2009/09/11/courtney-love-threatens-guitar-hero-5-lawsuit-over-kurt-cobain-avatar] over their appearance (or the appearance of someone who's dead, yet is that person's only remaining link to fame).
 

AceDiamond

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I officially blame everyone who sided with Courtney Love. Nice job breaking it, heroes.

Not that I really think it's a humongous issue but it's very stupid that the whole thing happened in the first place.
 

ultimateownage

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Feb 11, 2009
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That's a shame, but nothing to get upset over, I will miss playing has famous people though, I always wanted to play has Angus Young.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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AceDiamond said:
I officially blame everyone who sided with Courtney Love. Nice job breaking it, heroes.

Not that I really think it's a humongous issue but it's very stupid that the whole thing happened in the first place.
Agreed. Its just a silly thing to get angry over.

Granted I can understand why people would get angry, but I still find it silly. Especially when Love stated that Kurt "wouldn't have cared all that much."

If the person your fighting for wouldn't care, then why bother with the whole mess?
 

xavierxenon

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It doesn't really matter who you play as anyway, they have no effect on how well you play and most of the time the your too busy focusing on what to press to look at anything else properly.
 

steamweedlegoblin

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Irridium said:
If the person your fighting for wouldn't care, then why bother with the whole mess?
My senses tell me it's because some people will do anything they can possibly do, no matter how pointless, to be in the headlines.
 

The Great JT

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I like the idea to go back to the basics and focus more on the rock in Guitar Hero 6, but couldn't they have kept the 'create your own band' aspect from 5? Or do everything through DLC like Rock Band?
 
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dradiscontact said:
Irridium said:
If the person your fighting for wouldn't care, then why bother with the whole mess?
My senses tell me it's because some people will do anything they can possibly do, no matter how pointless, to be in the headlines.
Yeah... your probably right.

I really hate people like that.
 

BlindMessiah94

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Nov 12, 2009
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Blargh, are they still making these games.
I feel like GH games have become like EA sports game.
Just the same razzle dazzle with updated rosters (or in this case songs).
 

Cowabungaa

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Straying Bullet said:
Activision is just milking the franchise yet again. "Back to Basic"..Don't make me laugh.
I think they mean musically.

If we'd stretch that to extremes; wouldn't a 50's rock&roll GH/RB be insanely friggin' awesome?!
 

Therumancer

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Well, Courtney Love is not alone in this. Her complaint is very similar to the ones voiced by the band "No Doubt" and apparently Gwen Stefani (since her Avatar being used for other band's songs was viewed as an issue).

The thing is, I really don't know all of the details behind the agreements, and what the people in question were told. I get the impression that some of the artists in question were told that while the character was "fully playable" it would be only used to perform the band's songs, and thus more limited within the game than what they took money from.

Also, with contracts in the music industry and how protective a lot of artists are of their work, I'm not sure what the legal status of someone vicariously doing someon else's work without permission is (via an Avatar). For example with some of the "synthespian" technology that has been kicking around since "The Crow" the music industry might have already taken action to prevent someone for say having themselves digitized to look exactly like themselves in real life, make a video of someone else's work, and then claim "I didn't steal it, that isn't me despite looking exactly like a live performance, it's all done with technology".

What this would mean is that by Activision using the Avatar of one musician to play another musician's work, they are violating existing contracts within the industry. If I'm right this could be an even bigger issue if it goes cross label. It's quite possible that the artists who could be argued to have AGREED to have someone use them in a digital form and play the music of others, accepted money for it, could be held liable.

I have not heard a full legal analysis of this, but I'm guessing that the problem is something like that... and yeah, I can see why Activision doesn't want to go there anymore
if it is.

Of course it could also be over-broad language in the contract as well. Activision signing these guys to something they tell them is very specific, and then using what the contract doesn't say to get more mileage out of the agreement than intended. Irregardless of what someone might think about it being ghoulish, Kurt Cobain remains a big name even in death, if they use his likeness for what amounts to ten times more stuff than was supposed to have been agreed to, you can't blame his estate for being POed.

I tend to think it's the former though. Few things can be as involuted and paranoid as the music industry.

Oh, and one way or another, I think people are knocking Courtney Love a bit too much. Hole was not a bad band... it's just that they were not Nirvana. I think a lot of the flak they get is simply the fact that people expected her to be a massive superstar like Kurt, and sort of carry on for him, but she wasn't... I mean very few people are which is what makes Kurt Cobain or Jim Morrison or Elvis what they are even after death. She's not my favorite person at the world, but doesn't deserve the bile thrown at her pretty much every time she's mentioned.