Axl Rose Suing ‘Guitar Hero’ Game Publisher
If there’s one thing we know about Axl Rose, it’s that he has a volatile temper and isn’t afraid to sue at the drop of a hat. Just ask Tommy Hilfiger and his former Guns N’ Roses bandmate Slash — the latter of which is the target of Rose’s ire and, indirectly, this lawsuit.
According to Reuters, the Guns N’ Roses frontman filed a whopping $20 million lawsuit against ‘Guitar Hero’ maker Activision, claiming its use of the GNR’s signature song ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ violated a deal between both parties where one of the key terms was that imagery of ex-guitarist Slash would not be used in the popular game.
Rose claims that Activision fraudulently got him to agree to authorize the song for use in ‘Guitar Hero III’ by telling him during negotiations that this version of the popular game wouldn’t include any references to Slash or Slash’s other band, Velvet Revolver, which also features former GNR bassist Duff McKagan.
Rose also claims that Activision then created a complex web of lies to hide the fact that it would feature Slash and Velvet Revolver in the game and that it would promote the association between Slash and ‘Welcome to the Jungle’ in the marketing.
When Rose discovered that Slash would be prominently featured in ‘Guitar Hero III,’ he rescinded his authorization for usage of the song. He then claims that Activision lied and said they included Slash’s image and Velvet Revolver song for trade show purposes. However, when ‘Guitar Hero III’ was released, an animated rendering of Slash, with his signature top hat and spiral curls, was featured on the box cover, which caused Rose to see red.
As if all of that weren’t enough, Rose also accused the game maker of using GNR’s other hallmark hit, ‘Sweet Child o’ Mine,’ in online promotions, despite the fact that they were only approved to use tunes for the 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,” said Rose’s lawyer Skip Miller. “The relief we are seeking is disgorgement of profits and compensatory and punitive damages.”
This lawsuit serves to prove that the idea of a GNR reunion is barely remote, at best. Activision has not yet responded to the suit or the charges levied by Rose at this time.