Activision and No Doubt settle Band Hero lawsuit

The two adversaries settle the nearly three-year lawsuit after claims that the video game avatar of Gwen Stefani made her sing in a male voice and boast about having sex with prostitutes.

Activision's Band Hero game image. GameSpot

The pop band No Doubt claimed that the video game Band Hero turned its front woman Gwen Stefani into a "virtual karaoke circus act." Now, that circus act may have sung its last song.

Activision, the maker of Band Hero, and No Doubt settled an ongoing lawsuit this week, according to the Associated Press. The settlement was agreed upon just weeks before a jury trial was set to begin.

The legal case began in 2009 when No Doubt charged that Activision didn't tell the pop musicians that gamers would be able to unlock the band's avatars and use them to perform other artist's music. The band went after the gaming company on claims of fraud, violation of publicity rights, and breach of contract.

No Doubt specifically took issue with Band Hero players having the ability to make Stefani perform the Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women." The suit claims that it "results in an unauthorized performance by the Gwen Stefani avatar in a male voice boasting about having sex with prostitutes."

Activision has maintained that it wasn't at fault and unlocking avatars is nothing new in the gaming industry. In May, the company's lawyer announced that Activision had a video recording of it telling No Doubt about the game's unlocking feature.

According to the Associated Press, the terms of the settlement were not disclosed, so it's unclear if Band Hero will still be able to host songs by No Doubt and continue having avatars that resemble Stefani and the other band members.

CNET contacted Activision for comment. We'll update the story when we get more information.

 

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