Activision’s Greed


If you haven’t heard, here’s the backstory. Harmonix and Red Octance develop the Guitar Hero games which require a guitar peripheral. Red Octance gets bought by Activision, and Harmonix gets bought by MTV. Activision gets one of their internal studios to make Guitar Hero 3. Meanwhile, Harmonix develops Rock Band, a new game that can use two guitar peripherals, a mic, and a drumkit. The game Rock Band comes with one guitar, a mic, and a drumkit. It would be nice if a Rock Band owner could use the Guitar Hero guitar as a second guitar when playing Rock Band. And this is exactly the case on the Xbox 360.

But not on the PS3.

Harmonix has a patch ready to go that would allow PS3 owners of both games to use their GH3 guitar while playing Rock Band. But Activision has blocked this from occuring, asking for money.

Do I really need to go on? Here’s the relevant information from boston.com:

Activision spokeswoman Maryanne Lataif said her company was willing to work with Harmonix to make the various game controllers fully compatible with one another. “Unfortunately for Rock Band users, Harmonix has been unwilling to discuss an agreement that will allow us to provide that option in a manner that maintains the high standards people have come to expect from Activision,” Lataif said.

She added that any agreement will involve someone at Harmonix writing a check. “We believe we should be compensated for the use of our technology,” said Lataif.

I find it hard to fathom that a company would be so small minded, petty, and greedy. Activision sold gamers a guitar. If they want to use said guitar in a different game, Activision shouldn’t even be part of the equation anymore. They’ve already been compensated.

It irks me even more that this is not even an issue on the Xbox 360. Why does Activision not have a problem with Xbox 360 owners using their guitar in Rock Band, but it wants to shaft PS3 owners?

I’m not buying any more Activision games until this is resolved in our favour. This is just ludicrous. And yes, that means I’m not buying the next Call of Duty either, even though CoD4 is my favourite game right now.

Activision: smarten up!

Guitar Hero’s Activision takes hard line in controller fight with Rock Band maker Harmonix


Written by: Blackstaffer - News Contributor


  1. #1 by Gary on December 20th, 2007 [ 1780 Points ]

    Activision are acting like a bunch of greedy little bastards who have had their cake and want to eat the pie that’s over there by the window. The pie that they’ve sold to you.

    It’s a good job Infinity Ward aren’t doing CoD 5!

  2. #2 by Willy D on December 20th, 2007

    I second that boycott. BTW the best way to boycott them is not buy their crappy Guitar Hero 3 game and just wait for the Rock Band Guitar to be sold solo. Thats their lose. While we are at boycotting companies. Anyone up boycotting EA?

  3. #3 by Darrin on December 21st, 2007 [ 17143 Points ]

    Boycotting companies is a waste of effort. I will happily buy whatever games I want to play regardless of my perception of the publisher.

    Honestly, I imagine that people at Activision are somewhat sore that they paid top dollar to buy the rights to the Guitar Hero series and Harmonix basically just made the same type of game under a different name. Also Rock Band is a much better game and they know it.

    Regardless, Activision is acting silly at the expense of their fans and they will get a deserved reality check of bad PR.

    A no matter how noble Harmonix is, or how much better Rock Band is (and it really is), they are getting slaughtered sales-wise, due to the fact that Guitar Hero shipped earlier, has far better brand awareness, had better support for PS2/Wii, and a more sane price point.


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