The band No Doubt doesn’t like a feature in the new Band Hero video game that lets players control digital versions of real band members and change things up by making them sing other artists’ songs.
It’s called “character manipulation, and a lawsuit filed Wednesday against Activision claims this lets players have all sorts of bawdy fun by making lead singer Gwen Stefani perform suggestive lyrics from the Rolling Stones hit Honky Tonk Women, for example. It claims the band raised objections but they were not heeded, and the result is a “virtual karaoke circus act.”
No Doubt is seeking unspecified damages and an order barring Activision from using any band members’ likenesses with non-No Doubt songs.
Just a few months ago, the widow and former bandmates of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain railed against Activision for using the late grunge rocker’s likeness to play other artists’ songs in Guitar Hero 5. Before that, the company settled a lawsuit over Brutal Legend, a rock ’n’ roll adventure game starring Jack Black that the company tried to kill after it acquired a smaller developer. The game was published last month by Activision’s rival, Electronic Arts.