Posts Tagged ‘Hero’
Upcoming mobile exercise games hope to make workouts more social; company is currently accepting interest from game developers wishing to develop for the new platform.
RedOctane founders Kai and Charles Huang–best known for the Guitar Hero series–have announced plans to create new types of fitness games for mobile devices, with a focus on increasing social play.
The new company, Blue Goji, aims to overhaul current cardio workouts by directly linking physical exertion and gameplay. While few specific details were made in the announcement, the company has said that it intends to track activity to help monitor personal fitness goals, as well as turn exercise into a more social experience.
“Our goal is to help people lead healthier and more active lives by providing anyone across all fitness levels with a fun way to work out, one that is accessible and compelling to use,“ Kai Huang said in a statement. “With Blue Goji, we“re developing a platform to support a variety of entertainment content that enables people to immerse themselves in their workout routines for a more enjoyable and social experience.“
The games will target mobile and tablet devices, with plans to interface directly with exercise equipment, including treadmills, stationary bicycles, and elliptical machines. The company is currently accepting applications from software developers who are interested in working on the platform.
Source says Activision killed development of guitar-focused game in 2011 after rocky production cycle, overreaching ambitions.
A new Guitar Hero game was in development at Activision subsidiary Vicarious Visions until early 2011, when the publisher killed the project mid-development, a source has told Kotaku. The game was going to be different than 2010′s most recent entry Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, in that it was planned as a return-to-roots guitar-focused game. No compatibility for drums, bass, microphones, or any other peripherals was planned. It was all about the guitar.
The plastic guitar for Guitar Hero 7, or whatever it was to be called, was going to have the classic Guitar Hero buttons on the neck (as well as a new button) and six actual strings where the strum bar was in past games.
Prototypes of the guitar were made, the source said, but they did not meet performance expectations and proved too expensive to produce.
“The strings were unresponsive and loose, and the guitars cost a fortune to make,” the source said. “No one could figure out a way to make it so your average Joe could buy one.”
The source said development on the project began well, with an early demo for the game proving to be ambitious and compelling. Every time music changed in a significant way in a song, the venue’s aesthetics would change, too. This was one of the core ideas for the new game. However, the project went south quickly when real development actually began, the source said.
Vicarious Visions elected to build Guitar Hero 7 from the ground up, deciding to forgo the series’ familiar art style and characters for an entirely new approach. Additionally, the studio’s “big ambitions” across the board proved too far-reaching to follow through on. What’s more, the soundtrack was not up to snuff.
“When the songs started coming in, a great sense of dread came about everyone with an active brain,” the source said. “The game had all of the worst hits from the 1990′s. They realized that, with our lack of budget and time, they couldn’t get quality music so they bought bargain basement music like ‘Closing time’ and ‘Sex and Candy.’ There were some songs in there that had been used at least three times in the Guitar Hero franchises before.”
Guitar Hero 7 saw its last days when Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg visited the studio. He saw the progress that had been made and after he returned from his trip, development was halted and members of the development team were let go.
The most recent entry in the Guitar Hero series was 2010′s Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii game Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock. Activision officially put the franchise in hiatus in 2011, making clear that Guitar Hero was not dead, but rather taking time to reinvent itself before returning.
Storm-related power outages at Activision’s New York-based data centers impacting online play for all Guitar Hero games, numerous Call of Duty titles.
Hurricane Sandy ripped through the northeast United States this week, laying waste to Atlantic City’s famed boardwalk, toppling a New York City construction crane, and knocking out power for millions.
The storm is also impacting online functionality for all Guitar Hero games and several Call of Duty titles, Activision has revealed.
Activision community manager Dan Amrich explained through the One of Swords blog recently that players may experience connectivity issues with the following games until power is stabilized at Activision’s New York-based data centers:
–Call of Duty: World at War (all platforms)
–Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (PlayStation 3)
–Call of Duty: Black Ops (PlayStation 3, PC, Wii)
–Guitar Hero (all titles and platforms)
According to Amrich, Activision is working to restore complete functionality “as soon as possible,” though no specific timeframe was provided. An update to the Activision support website does not offer much more, stating only that the hurricane has impacted multiplayer gaming.
“Due to the hurricane that affected the East Coast of the United States, multiplayer gaming with some of our online title is experiencing connectivity issues,” the statement reads. “We appreciate your patience.”
Guns N’ Roses frontman claims Activision offered him a dedicated game featuring music from 2008 Chinese Democracy album to resolve Guitar Hero III issues.
Axl Rose’s 2010 million lawsuit against Activision concerning rights issues stemming from 2007′s Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock has taken a new twist. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the reason Rose waited until 2010 to sue Activision over Guitar Hero III was because the publisher promised him a dedicated game as a means to settle and resolve the issues he had.
Rose claims Activision made this offer–as well as “other proposals” he says were worth “millions of dollars”–between December 2007 and November 2010. The project was to feature songs from Guns N’ Roses’ long-in-the-making Chinese Democracy album, which was released in 2008 to very mixed reviews.
The news came during proceedings in a Los Angeles courtroom on Tuesday as part of Rose’s ongoing suit against the publisher. A judge tossed out Rose’s fraud claim, but will allow his breach-of-contract claim to see trial. A trial is scheduled to begin on February 1, 2013.
Rose sued Activision in 2010 for its use of the virtual likeness of Saul Hudson (better known as the top-hat-donning axe legend Slash) in Guitar Hero III. Rose further alleges that Activision convinced him to lend “Welcome to the Jungle” to Guitar Hero III on the grounds that the game would not feature Slash’s likeness or the guitarist’s follow-up group, Velvet Revolver.
Slash was featured heavily in Guitar Hero III. He graced the game’s cover and was a playable character in the game. Further, songs from Velvet Revolver (“She Builds Quick Machines,” “Slither,” and “Messages”) were made available to gamers as downloadable content following the game’s release.
Activision is also currently facing a suit from the Gwen Stefani-fronted rock band No Doubt. In that 2009 suit, the band claimed Activision had no contractual right to allow the group’s in-game avatars to be used to perform other artists’ songs. Additionally, the suit alleges Activision secretly hired actors to create dance movements that no band member had ever performed. No Doubt vs. Activision will go before a jury in Los Angeles Superior Court beginning October 15.
Rock band’s legal representation at Kendall Brill & Klieger says group has lost millions, hopes Activision will apologize; case going before jury October 15 in Los Angeles Superior Court.
The legal proceedings between No Doubt and international heavyweight publisher Activision over Band Hero will go before a jury beginning October 15 in Los Angeles Superior Court, the band’s legal representation has told GameSpot.
No Doubt attorney Bert Deixler explained that the band has suffered losses of millions, that Activision’s “meritless” appeals have delayed the case, and that the publisher’s settlement offers thus far have been lacking. Deixler also claimed that Activision secretly hired actors to design dance moves for Band Hero that no member of No Doubt had ever performed.
No Doubt sued Activision in November 2009, claiming the publisher had no contractual right to allow the group’s in-game avatars to be used to perform other artists’ songs. The band took exception in its suit with having individual band members perform other artists’ songs, particularly those that include suggestive lyrics such as The Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.” The suit claims this action turns the band “into a virtual karaoke circus act.”
Activision countersued No Doubt a month later, saying it is “publicly known” that characters in previous Guitar Hero games have been “unlockable” in the same fashion, suggesting No Doubt did not exercise due diligence before entering into the agreement.
Activision’s legal team did not respond to interview requests.
GameSpot: No Doubt originally sued Activision in 2009. Why are the proceedings taking so long?
Bert Deixler: Activision has delayed by filing unsuccessful motions and taking meritless appeals from losing motions. And, of course, the courts are crowded, and we had to return to the end of the line to wait for a courtroom.
GS: In Activision’s immediate 2009 countersuit, the publisher claimed No Doubt did not exercise due diligence before entering the agreement for Band Hero and that it was ’publicly known’ that avatars could be unlocked and used to sing other songs. What’s your response to this?
BD: It’s nonsense. The contract clearly defined the rights of the parties. Two superior court judges, three appellate court judges, seven California Supreme Court justices, and a federal judge all agree that Activision’s rights are limited to the contract. Activision’s ’publicly known’ argument is irrelevant, and, incidentally, false. Indeed, several of their executives testified that they didn’t know about unlocking.
GS: In May, superior court judge Ramona See ruled that the case should go before a jury because of ’genuine disputes’ including questions of ’loss.’ How will you prove No Doubt’s unauthorized appearance in the game caused them loss?
“Activision even went as far as secretly hiring actors to create dance movements for the game that no band member has ever performed.”
BD: We don’t license the use of our songs and our appearances for free. Here, we licensed No Doubt’s appearance for three songs, but Activision instead used it in 63 unpermitted songs. Activision also created a game that, contrary to No Doubt’s rights, allows for any member of No Doubt to appear as a solo artist, as a member of another group, or as a performer in a capacity that he or she never actually performs in. Activision even went as far as secretly hiring actors to create dance movements for the game that no band member has ever performed. There’s no question that there’s loss, and it is millions and millions of dollars. A jury will understand why the use of an artist’s appearance to endorse projects without permission is harmful. Many, many artists have succeeded when they complained about having their valuable names and likeness taken without permission. Our experts will have innumerable examples.
GS: No Doubt has won numerous partial victories thus far in the case against Activision, including having several Activision claims tossed out, as well as a request to have the matter bumped up to a federal court. How have these decisions advanced No Doubt’s argument against Activision?
“So far Activision has been ordered to pay No Doubt nearly 0,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs, and Activision continues to pursue a strategy that will have it financing both sides of the lawsuit. That’s a pretty bad business idea.”
BD: Yes, our legal judgments have proven to be correct and Activision’s have proven to be incorrect repeatedly. We look forward to presenting our case to the jury. Activision will come to recognize that its strategy of ignoring No Doubt’s rights, then ignoring No Doubt’s requests that it not release the infringing game, then delaying and losing appeals and motions in an effort to discourage No Doubt from pursuing its claims has just run up the costs that Activision will wind up paying. So far Activision has been ordered to pay No Doubt nearly 0,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs, and Activision continues to pursue a strategy that will have it financing both sides of the lawsuit. That’s a pretty bad business idea.
GS: Activision recently settled in a high-profile case against fired developers Jason West and Vince Zampella for an undisclosed sum. Is a settlement at all possible in the case between No Doubt and Activision?
BD:Settlement is always possible. Unfortunately, Activision’s settlement proposals thus far have not reflected its substantial exposure to millions of dollars in damages and attorneys’ fees. Should a proposal be forthcoming that does, No Doubt will entertain it. If not, the case will go to trial, and No Doubt will prevail and obtain a jury award that will have Activision regretting its decision to abuse these artists’ rights and wishing it had settled this case when it had the chance.
GS: What does No Doubt want from Activision in this case?
BD: Ideally they would like Activision to apologize and promise to never mistreat artists in the manner they have mistreated No Doubt and countless others. The group told Activision repeatedly that they were not interested in filing a lawsuit and that they didn’t want this to happen. Now No Doubt is stuck asking for compensation for the misappropriation of its rights, and an injunction preventing the continued sale and future release of the infringing product.
GS: Lastly, what are the implications here, provided No Doubt emerges the victor?
BD: Artists can’t allow themselves to be ripped off by multi-national billion dollar companies that act only in their own financial best interest while completely ignoring legally binding agreements. We hope Activision has learned a lesson and will think twice when deciding to risk the cost of litigation as a business practice as a result of No Doubt bringing this lawsuit, and, if it persists in taking this case to trial, Activision will be forced to learn an even harsher and more expensive lesson.