Axl Rose Sues Activision Over Slash in Guitar Hero 3

BOOM widget 53706 The much-publicised hostilities between Guns N' Roses singer Axl Rose and former guitarist Slash have entered the realm of video games, as Rose is suing Activision Blizzard over Slash and songs from his new band Velvet Revolver appearing in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.

According to court documents dug up by Radar Online, Rose allegedly allowed the GNR song 'Welcome to the Jungle' to be used in GH3 only on condition that neither Slash's likeness nor his music would be in the game. Rose has been keen to distance GNR from Slash since he left in 1996.

"Despite the fact that Slash has had nothing to do with Guns N' Roses' ongoing popularity and success since 1996," the lawsuit claims, "his association with the band lingers, as far as certain members of the media are concerned." Hence the demands.

Not only were songs from Slash's new band Velvet Revolver released as downloadable content for Guitar Hero III, a virtual Slash--pictured above--is found rocking out hard on the box art, can be used as an avatar and plays 'Welcome to the Jungle' in the game.

The lawsuit alleges that Activision "began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in GH3, but also promote the game by emphasising and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N' Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle.'"

Slash's presence in GH3 was rumoured in May 2007 but Rose was supposedly assured several times this was untrue, with Activision's VP of music affairs Tim Riley saying that "You know you can't believe everything on the Internet." Come July, Slash was mentioned by press releases but the company insisted that this was only "for purposes of a trade show." And so on and so forth, up until the game's release in August 2007, when the real situation became clear.

The lawsuit insists that Rose would never have approved Guitar Hero III's use of 'Welcome to the Jungle' had he known.

Curiously, it's claimed that Activision's VP of music affairs, Tim Riley, approached Rose after a GNR gig in tears, apologising for the way Activision had mis-treated the band, saying "I can't sleep at night" and asking for forgiveness.

Activision Blizzard is being sued for breach of contract, fraudelent concealement, intentional misrepresentation, negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel and unjust enrichment. Axl Rose and his publisher Black Frog are claiming for damages plus "Activision's wrongfully-acquired profits," which are claimed to be over $20,000,000.