Band Hero can’t get a break. Plagued by a recent outbreak of lawsuits from the artists tapped for its musical roster, a new suit has been filed against Activision, the people responsible for the game. Slapped with claims of contract breaches, unfair business practices, dismissal of common-law publicity laws, and fraudulent inducement, the company has been targeted by Maroon 5 front man/toolbox Adam Levine as of yesterday.
At the root of this issue is the agreement claimed by Levine that his mo-cap’d self would only be allowed to sing his own songs in his own voice. While his performance of the Maroon 5 song “She Will Be Loved” was used and recorded, the game’s built-in capabilities to let characters perform any song has become the point of contention, as he would not have personally liked or decided upon the songs available other than his own. Making matters more embarrassing, a multitude of voices can be funneled through digi-Levine’s mouth, even female vocals…so Adam Levine sings his own songs.
Also working against Activision is the claim that other musicians were tapped at a higher fee (I guess a dude on a TV show for a major network absolutely needs his increased money), while the company attempted to get artists to agree to larger uses of their digital selves. After the legal storm caused by Activision’s use of a Cobain-a-like and No Doubt take-offs, the decision to can the musical Hero series seems to be a wise one. It’s just a shame that it means having to hear more from Adam Levine.