Axl Rose Sues Activision for $20M for Including Slash in 'Guitar Hero'
Axl Rose really doesn't want to be associated with ex-bandmate Slash.
The Guns N' Roses frontman has just filed a $20 million lawsuit against Guitar Hero maker Activision claiming its use of the GNR song "Welcome to the Jungle" violated a deal not to include any imagery of ex-guitarist Saul Hudson (aka Slash) in the popular game.
In an amusing lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, Rose and his Black Frog Music claim that Activision Blizzard fraudulently induced Rose into authorizing "Jungle" for use in Guitar Hero III by telling him during negotiations that it wouldn't feature any reference to the former GNR member or his subsequent band, Velvet Revolver.
"[Activision] began spinning a web of lies and deception to conceal its true intentions to not only feature Slash and VR prominently in GH III but also promote the game by emphasizing and reinforcing an association between Slash and Guns N' Roses and the band's song 'Welcome to the Jungle,' " the complaint states.
When Rose found out that a Slash-like chararacter and Velvet Revolver songs would be included in GH II, he says he immediately rescinded the authorization for "Jungle," but Activision allegedly lied and told him the inclusion was just for the purposes of a trade show. Then GH III came out and its box cover featured "an animated depiction of Slash, with his signature black top hat, long dark curly hair, dark sunglasses and nose-piercing," according to the complaint. In short, the former GNR guitarist was all over GH III, enraging Rose.
Rose also claims that the GNR song "Sweet Child O' Mine" was used in an online promotion for GH III despite being licensed only for GH II. He wants $20 million in damages from sales of the popular 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," Rose lawyer Skip Miller says. “The relief we are seeking is disgorgement of profits and compensatory and punitive damages.”
We've reached out to Activision for comment.