Published on February 9th, 2007 | by Daniel David
Good and Bad news for Guitar Hero
I’ll start with the good news first. Nintendo Wii and DS owners are about to be happy because Guitar Hero is heading to both platforms in the future. Given the Wii’s motion controller, I wonder how there going to pull this off. The guitar they have rocks already I wonder if trying to add motion (if they’re going to) will really make the gameplay better. It may be easier for the DS. If anybody who’s played Elite Beat Agents (which is pretty fun) is music type game using the stylus could work out fine Guitar Hero should too. NeverSoft should be handling development for at least one or both of this titles.
Now the bad news, Activision has sued The Ant Commandos, with a complaint filed in US District Court in Los Angeles last month, Three Guitar Hero developers and PR firm Reverb Communications were also named as defendants. Activision is accusing the three workers of copyright infringement, trademark infringement, misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information, breach of contract, interference with contractual relations, and more.
The publisher has already obtained a temporary restraining order against the developers, preventing them from distributing a demo Tam created. The demo incorporated elements of Guitar Hero and StepMania, a free dance game for the PC that supports dance pads and includes a step editor. The restraining order also prevents them from “taking any steps to develop, market, manufacture, sell, or distribute any guitar or drum based video games,” unless The Ant Commandos can produce evidence that such a game was developed without the involvement of the trio or Reverb Communications.
Furthermore, the three developers are prevented from using or disclosing any knowledge of Activision trade secrets they have. The order specifically mentions things like contract terms for music licensing and in-game advertising, sales figures, marketing plans, product designs, and possible future songs and artists to be featured. They are also restrained from taking any steps to develop a guitar controller for the Xbox 360 edition of Guitar Hero II until the game has been on shelves for at least three months.
Finally, the developers have been ordered not to solicit Activision employees, partners, or Asia-based manufacturing vendors.
It doesn’t look good for the people being sued but worse thing for gamers is that the guitar controller for the Xbox 360 edition of Guitar Hero II won’t see the light of day until three months after the game is in stores. Good luck for the defendants, they’ll need it.