March 17, 2011 8:39am PT by Eriq Gardner
Judge Sets Trial Date in Axl Rose Lawsuit Vs. Activision
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge is allowing Axl Rose to pursue a $20 million lawsuit against video game publisher Activision Blizzard over allegedly breaching a deal not to include former Guns N' Roses bandmate Slash in Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
The lawsuit was filed in November by Rose, who alleged that Activision fraudulently induced Rose into authorizing "Welcome to the Jungle" for use in the game by telling him in negotiations that it wouldn't feature ex-guitarist Saul Hudson (aka Slash).
"[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.
At a conference this month with attorneys, Judge Charles Palmer scheduled a trial for January 23, 2012, according to the Edmonton Sun.
Rose isn't the only musician pursuing Activision for allegedly going too far with licensed rights.
Gwen Stefani and No Doubt have similar claims pending against Activision after its game "Band Hero" let game-players do stuff with their avatars they didn't appreciate. After No Doubt sued the game publisher for violating a deal by allowing gamers to have Stefani sing about prostitutes in a male voice and make unrealistic dance moves, Activision struck back with an anti-SLAPP motion that attempted to get the lawsuit dismissed for stifling its free speech.
Last month, a California appeals court rejected Activision's moves to dismiss the case, also setting it on track for a trial.