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Wii

Lawsuit Over Guitar Hero Wii Sound Issues

by Les Thomas - December 15, 2007, 12:55 pm PST
Total comments: 15 Source: Wired Game|Life

One game player decided to sue Activision for "deceptive and unlawful" conduct.

Samuel Livingston of San Diego has brought suit against Activision for "deceptive and unlawful" conduct for the marketing of Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock for the Wii. The class-action lawsuit charges Activision with not addressing or attempting to warn customers about the mono sound issue, despite the game's packaging continuing to advertise Dolby Pro Logic II sound.

Activision said that they would replace the defective discs in early 2008, an announcement that occurred five days before the Livingston suit was filed on December 11. The timing demonstrates Activision's willingness to resolve the mistake. Activision's only public response: "We cannot comment on any on-going litigation."

This is the second lawsuit to hit Activision over their smash hit Guitar Hero. An 80's rock band, The Romantics, filed suit for the game's use of their song in the Rocks the 80's PS2 version of Guitar Hero. No matter that Activision retains legal authority to use all of the songs featured in the game, this will be a battle of nuance in the courtroom.

Talkback

Ay-yai-yai.

MorariDecember 15, 2007

CENSORED FOR YOUR PROTECTION

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2007

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Originally posted by: Morari
Properly working discs won't be available until "early 2008". Extra guitars won't be available until "early 2008". It looks more and more like this game was pushed out before everything was ready, likely to meet holiday expectations. Activision needs to be sued for "idiotic conduct" if anything.


Not really the biggest reason why the solo guitars won't be out till '08 is because 1 GHIII is very popular regardless of platform 2) Activision and Red Octane has to worry about 6 SKUs of the game, 360/Wii/PS3/PS2 with guitars and each guitar was different in respect to their consoles and a 360/PS2 game only sku that alone with so much mass production in a small time frame can make something go wrong and ironically theres an issue reported from EVERY version of the game. One of the main trends I hate this generation is something I call PC syndrome where that developers can miss a few bugs but they can always patch it which can make developers lazy and publishers and developers to coin the fix as an enhancement that should of been there in the first place.

Im sure Activison and Red Octane understood the demand but producing guitars for 4 platforms probably stretched their manufacturing plants to the maximum. Ironically no one complained or noticed that the Wii had the sound issue so it was a possible oversite that could of happened and its good that Activision is going to do something about it. Also I think Rock Band has more problems where a lot of the stratocasters and drums were messing up badly heres an example of the drums: http://youtube.com/watch?v=EAWd7nTAK0Y.


UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 15, 2007

6 SKUs? Where'd you learn to count?

360 Game Only
360 Game with Wired Guitar
360 Game with Wireless Guitar
PS3 Game with Wireless Guitar
Wii Game with Wireless Guitar
PS2 Game Only
PS2 Game with Wired Guitar
PS2 Game with Wireless Guitar
PC/MAC Game with Wired Guitar

Am I missing anything?

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2007

Ahh I forgot about the PC/Mac hybrid version and the stupid walmart and target only bundles.

GoldenPhoenixDecember 15, 2007

That is the American way, sue over the stupidest things.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
That is the American way, sue over the stupidest things.


Yup god bless ignorance and people trying to get money from stupid things. I remember a while back someone tried to sue McDonald's because that person didn't know McDonalds or other fast food makes you fat.

Backwards Flying DragonsDecember 15, 2007

I hate to ask, and this is nothing personal, but who is Les Thomas? I know what the profile says about you, that you're a staff news writer, and such, but do you have a favorite facet of news or something that you prefer to cover? Do you have a forum name? I'm just curious. Are you particularly found of covering Capcom news stories? Would that be accurate? I'm just trying to learn a little more about staff, so that way I can identify staff with their work. I find it easier to read and enjoy that way, honestly.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorDecember 15, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
That is the American way, sue over the stupidest things.


I don't know... It's one thing if they didn't know about the "mistake" - but at this point, they're still shipping new product without even putting a sticker disclaimer on the box warning people that the product isn't what it says it is.

shammackDecember 16, 2007

Yeah. As easy (and fun) as it may be to go "lol frivolous lawsuit," Activision is pretty clearly in the wrong here. Even if it wasn't intentional, they're not doing anything about it until "early 2008," and until then they'll continue making money from a product that doesn't do what it advertises (and I'll bet the percentage of those people who bother with getting a replacement disc will be pretty small).

As for people trying to get money from stupid things, keep in mind this is a class action lawsuit. It's not one guy trying to get a big award. Probably the most that could happen is that Activision will have to offer a refund. Sounds about right to me.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 16, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
Yeah. As easy (and fun) as it may be to go "lol frivolous lawsuit," Activision is pretty clearly in the wrong here. Even if it wasn't intentional, they're not doing anything about it until "early 2008," and until then they'll continue making money from a product that doesn't do what it advertises (and I'll bet the percentage of those people who bother with getting a replacement disc will be pretty small).

As for people trying to get money from stupid things, keep in mind this is a class action lawsuit. It's not one guy trying to get a big award. Probably the most that could happen is that Activision will have to offer a refund. Sounds about right to me.


Well I highly doubt people would get a refund and many people did not notice it until someone found out and the internet went on fire with this news item. I have a feeling all the lawsuit is going to do is offer a free replacement to people that own GHIII for Wii but I'm sure people who own the other versions which have some issues with the guitar would rather pursue a free replacement guitar that isn't faulty.

peacefulwarDecember 16, 2007

Doesn't this whole ordeal just seem a little ridiculous to anyone? I mean seriously? Screwing up the SOUND? To a MUSIC-BASED GAME!? It's like building a sailboat and forgetting to put a sail on it. Or forgetting to put wheels on a bike. I can't believe something of these proportions could happen. What kind of f'n quality control do they have at Activision anyway?

darknight06December 16, 2007

Quote

Well I highly doubt people would get a refund and many people did not notice it until someone found out and the internet went on fire with this news item.


Me and several others on numerous message boards have noticed something odd with the game on day 1. Me, personally when I realized that I HAD to turn my speaker volume way up in order to hear it and even then compared to DDR Hottest Party something was insanely wrong with it. The only reason I didn't scream mono sound on day 1 was because to an extent with some sound effects it still worked and also the last time I played anything in mono was 1997. Serves Activision right to have a class action suit brought upon them, what they've actively done believe it or not was an act of false advertising. That and the fact the PS2 version's sound had no problems screams to me that they prioritized every other version of the game over the Wii product.

Flames_of_chaosLukasz Balicki, Staff AlumnusDecember 16, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: darknight06
Quote

Well I highly doubt people would get a refund and many people did not notice it until someone found out and the internet went on fire with this news item.


Me and several others on numerous message boards have noticed something odd with the game on day 1. Me, personally when I realized that I HAD to turn my speaker volume way up in order to hear it and even then compared to DDR Hottest Party something was insanely wrong with it. The only reason I didn't scream mono sound on day 1 was because to an extent with some sound effects it still worked and also the last time I played anything in mono was 1997. Serves Activision right to have a class action suit brought upon them, what they've actively done believe it or not was an act of false advertising. That and the fact the PS2 version's sound had no problems screams to me that they prioritized every other version of the game over the Wii product.


Wrong, Technically the PS3 and 360 versions were prioritized since they were developed directly by Neversoft, the Wii version was handled by Vicarious Visions, the PS2 version by Budcat Creations, PC/Mac hybrid version by Aspyr.

SheckyDecember 16, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: shammack
Yeah. As easy (and fun) as it may be to go "lol frivolous lawsuit," Activision is pretty clearly in the wrong here. Even if it wasn't intentional, they're not doing anything about it until "early 2008," and until then they'll continue making money from a product that doesn't do what it advertises (and I'll bet the percentage of those people who bother with getting a replacement disc will be pretty small).

As for people trying to get money from stupid things, keep in mind this is a class action lawsuit. It's not one guy trying to get a big award. Probably the most that could happen is that Activision will have to offer a refund. Sounds about right to me.


Actually from my understanding that means the lawyers and the one person helming the class action suit will make a significant chunk of change if they win/settle and that the other folks in the class action suit will get the short end of the stick and the inability to take any action against Activision for this matter in the future. That's how it works out.

By far the lawyers make out the most here, followed by the person who with them helming the class action suit (as he doesn't just get the same thing as all the others in the class action).

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