No band likes to be turned into a "virtual karaoke circus act." But that's exactly what No Doubt's manager Jim Guerinot is saying about the band's disapproval about having their likenesses placed in Band Hero, the latest abomination of button-pushing musicianship created by Activision. Yesterday, the band slapped the video game company with a lawsuit claiming that the way their images were used was done unlawfully and without permission.
According to the Associated Press, No Doubt originally agreed to have their likenesses displayed on the game, but only for the three No Doubt songs that appear in the game. However, Activision allowed the likeness of each of the band members to play over 60 other songs. TMZ also reported that Gwen's avatar can even be used in songs like "Honey Tonk Woman" by the Rolling Stones, complete with male vocals and lyrics about "sex with prostitutes". That might be okay for Mick Jagger, but not Orange County's former ska princess.
This news is little less than a day old now and even though the band's avatar wounds are still fresh, it seems necessary to take a step back and ask them what's the difference between whoring out your likeness for a super popular video game and whoring it out a little bit more? Are they worried about losing some kind of credibility with fans by being used as video game characters? If so, then why even volunteer to be in the game at all? Obviously what Activision did, allegedly without their consent, is pretty scummy (though they claim to have written consent by the band to use their images for the game). But shouldn't the band be a little upset with themselves when plans for chasing profits didn't turn out the way they planned?