A jury will decide whether the band No Doubt was misled by Activision regarding the way its likeness was to be used in 2009’s Band Hero.
Superior Court Judge Ramona See rejected a motion by Activision's lawyers to dismiss several claims from the case that included fraud, violation of publicity rights, and breach of contract. Instead, Judge See determined there were genuine disputes about evidence that a jury should consider.
No Doubt claim that Activision never told the band that its in-game avatars could be used to perform other artist’s music.
The case cites instances in which players can use singer Gwen Stefani to perform suggestive lyrics from the Rolling Stones' hit "Honky Tonk Women", or have a virtual version of bassist Tony Kanal sing his band's hit "Just a Girl", but with Stefani's voice.
The lawsuit claimed the feature turned the band "into a virtual karaoke circus act".
Activision has claimed the idea of "unlocking" unadvertised features of a video game has been around since the early days of the industry and the company did nothing wrong.
Further, the company has a video recording of the band being told about the game's unlockable features, said Activision’s lawyer Jeffery McFarland.
The case will go to trial later this year.