Activision: It's Harmonix's fault

Activision shifts blame back on Harmonix and MTV Games for Rock Band compatibility issues with PS3 Guitar Hero controller.

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The game industry's newest feud has escalated into a full-scale open argument. Earlier this week, Harmonix laid the blame squarely on Activision for the lack of compatibility between Activision's Les Paul Guitar Hero III controller for the PlayStation 3 and the recently released Rock Band. Harmonix claimed Activision had "objected" to releasing a patch that would fix the compatibility issue. But Activision has hit back, claiming that it's actually Harmonix and parent company MTV Games/Viacom that haven't come to the party.

In a press statement, Activision claims that Harmonix and MTV Games had recently "declined Activision's offer to reach an agreement that would allow the use of Guitar Hero guitar controllers with Rock Band."

"We have been and remain open to discussions with Harmonix and MTV Games/Viacom about the use of our technology in Rock Band. Unfortunately for Rock Band users, in this case Harmonix and MTV Games/Viacom are unwilling to discuss an agreement with Activision," the statement said.

"Activision's top priority is to provide consumers with a seamless marriage of best-in-class hardware and software," the statement continued. "We are focusing our efforts on innovating hardware and software that are designed to work together, work flawlessly, and provide an enjoyable gaming experience."

The statement provided no other details on exactly what sort of agreement Activision was seeking from the makers of Rock Band.

Discussion

343 comments
buffdaddy69
buffdaddy69

Ooooooooooooor Wildmatt...instead of wasting 100 dollars on a game just to get a second guitar you can...i dunno...look for a used Guitar Controller or buy a single Guitar controller. Just a thought

fatty4games
fatty4games

Well i hope something is done on this because Sony is just giving me more reasons 2 bye a 360 then a PS3.

Your_Royal_Fly
Your_Royal_Fly

The Rock Band guitar controller is much better built, and has 5 extra buttons for easy face meling. Guitar hero controllers are thick, and plasticy. Im glad to be rid of my old guitar hero controllers (All 5 of em).

urnotmega
urnotmega

It's obvious that Activision realizes how horrible rock band's guitar is and wants people to like GH3 that much more. I don't think I would play RB as much if I didn't have my 360 GH3 guitar. If I had a choice between RB with it's own guitar and GH3 with the GH3 guitar, I'd still be playing GH3 as much as I was before RB came out.

wildmatt
wildmatt

to LuffyUzumaki Rock Band won't have new installments, he plan for rock band now is releasing a **** load of songs! Also GH3 works with RB on the 360 so what's the effen problem with PS3?

mojeepmike
mojeepmike

OK here is why Red Octane is making a huge mistake. Let's say this patch gets put out Thursday. I only have 1 RB guitar, with the patch what's the cheapest way to get 2 controllers working on RB? Buy a full copy of GH3 for $100 instead of another full RB copy for $160. Once RB sells the instruments separately, GH3 missed the boat. The patch is actually a reason TO BUY GH3. There must be a bunch of business geniuses over at Red Octane.

LuffyUzumaki
LuffyUzumaki

You know what Guitar Hero and Rock Band are wasting time and causing attention to it's game as it dosen't have enough already why don't hurry up and make new installments to the games.

Impostorzim
Impostorzim

Harmonix: "Your Technology?! WE GAVE YOU "YOUR" TECHNOLOGY! WE DON'T NEED YOU!!"

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

Please explain to me the wisdom in letting other get freebies into your market share... anyone!??

ucphenom82
ucphenom82

Here Activision rep, let me fix your statement so it says what you're really saying: "Unfortunately for Rock Band users, in this case Harmonix and MTV Games/Viacom are unwilling to hand over 50% of their profits to Activision."

Tequila_Zaire
Tequila_Zaire

All they are doing is adding fuel for 3rd party support to come in and make "universal" controllers...if they want to be this short sighted then so be it but they will BOTH lose money for this in the end.

Ozzie234
Ozzie234

I think it's fairly understandable. Activision spent a hugeload of dough getting the exclusive rights to Guitar Hero, and now they want to protect that investment by keeping Rock Band and Harmonix as far off the turf as possible. Greedy? Yes, but what would YOU have done in the same spot?

l33th4x0r
l33th4x0r

I totally agree HK-Ghost. Activision's idea of an "agreement" is bend over and take it in the rear so we look good and make money while you get the shaft. I know both parties involved are only concerned with making money, but blaming someone else because they dont want to "agree" on something that would hurt them is kind of foolish.

HK-Ghost
HK-Ghost

I wonder what kind of 'agreement' that may've been. I wouldnt be surpriced if it was the bend-over-to-be-penetrated kind of agreement (like anyone would like to 'agree' to that lol).

kingrich06
kingrich06

cant blame Activision for wanting to make money.

ahahaG
ahahaG

activision is so stupid, it's things like this that make me not like them. the guitar hero guitar already works on the 360's rock band, why the hell don't they just let the patch be put out for d/l on the ps3.

RoboWizard
RoboWizard

Sounds like Activision's trying to get some money out of this, and Harmonix isn't having any of it. From a sales standpoint, anyone who makes the argument that this would hurt anyone is just being naive. Adding compatibility just makes it more likely that people would buy something they otherwise wouldn't have.

BigPopov
BigPopov

Highroller - Your basis of argument is fanboy "GH3 blows" "they're being so mean!" battlecrys. It doesn't hold up in the world of making business decisions. And I don't know if you realize this or not, but MTV Games and Harmonix alike would be doing the -EXACT- same thing in the same situation. Welcome to the real world.

HighRoller
HighRoller

I don't believe some people are actually backing Activision on this. They are so clearly out of line. They would have more people buying there guitars to play RB so they get more money, and maybe even getting GH3(for the song list). It's just a d*ck move. And some of you guys are using the defence that GH3 has a bigger fan base. But if you think about it, Activision wouldn't even have GH3 if Harmonix didn't invent it. And you just know that RB is a much better game then GH3 because Harmonix is the mastermind behind games like GH1-2, Amplitude, Frequency, and more. Activision knows GH3 blows compared to the first two and wants to avoid sharing there controllers so they don't get owned by a far superior game.

Nuiembre
Nuiembre

From Activision spokewoman Maryanne Lataif: "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... (and) We believe we should be compensated for the use of our technology". Basically, Activision should be paid for the use of the Les Paul on the PS3, not only from sales of the Les Paul but also from sales of Rock Band. Activision added "We are really and truly not looking at this from the financial standpoint, we are looking at this from the consumer standpoint." From the consumer standpoint? That just leaves me speechless.

BigPopov
BigPopov

Exactly how is this Activision's fault? They had GH shipped and on the shelves way before Rock Band. Exactly how were they supposed to make their controller worked with RB, a game that wasn't to be released for a few months? Harmonix dropped the ball here. It was up to them and they failed and now they're playing innocent school girl. Hate to break it to you people, but GH3 had 4 spots on the top 10 and far outsold RB. RB needs GH3 more than GH3 needs RB compatability. Get over your fanboy rantings and realize that ethically and monetarily Activision is in the right here.

Turisman4
Turisman4

I can't imagine how Activision or Harmonix believes that playing the blame game is going to help increase their profit margin. Enough with the "who did dis, who did dat" stuff, let Sony release Harmonix's patch ASAP and tell both sides to scurry back home to rake in all your cash and leave eachother alone.

starbead
starbead

The fault here lies with SONY. They should require that all third party peripherals be compatible with any game that wants to use them. Sony should have made sure that their contract with Activision included the right for other games to utilize the controller. That is just basic business sense. Activision is being REALLY stupid here. So people who want to play rock band are willing to buy Activision's product to improve their experience in a non-Activision game. Hard to see how Activision loses here. They get extra sales because of another company's successful product. How is that bad for them? Instead, because of Sony's legal incompetence, we have Activision trying to extort money from Harmonix, when a successful Rock Band functioning with the Les Paul guitar controller will actually spur sales of Activision's own product. Activision looks greedy and unethical. This is nothing but extortion and gamers should contact them to let them know that it is NOT appreciated. And this is just another idiotic bumble from the folks at Sony. Every time the PS3 starts to gain a little momentum, we are reminded anew of why it is in the sales basement. It isn't the product itself (although its programming difficulty probably doesn't help it attract new third party exclusives). It is stupid, stupid decisions by the Sony team that have really hurt the PS3. It started when they released the first clips from PS3 games and used pre-rendered footage and tried to pass it off as gameplay footage. And this failure in basic licensing agreement is just the latest of executive missteps this generation. This is not Avitivision v Harmonix. It is Activision v Harmonix ON THE PS3. Xbox owners are jamming away while these two companies have dueling press releases. Activision should get a grip and stop the underhanded tactics, but if they won't, SONY should step in and pay the ransom for Harmonix, since it was their blunder that allowed Activision to get away with what they are doing.

Flimsyfishy
Flimsyfishy

think of it this way for Activision... how many people have bought Guitar Hero 3, about half if not a third of these people will buy rock band... yes i know you can play as your own band, but i'm thinking that Activision doubts that the game will be as successful as once thought, because the entire game with drums, microphone, and another guitar was around 200 bucks...

speedstar6
speedstar6

i think harmonix kind of asked for this, they were essentially using another companies product as a selling point for theirs i think activision is doing the smart business thing by making harmonix pay up to use their controllers. they could have just tested these compatibility before the game launched and shipped it with 2 guitars instead of trying to save money by complaining about activision's greed.

keyser27
keyser27

...Until the batteries dies at 1 am and somebody idiot goes drunk driving out to the walmart to get some batteries...

mitsman
mitsman

OK, I think I get what happened. Activision asked for good ol' cash to let Harmonix manipulate RockBand's code into supporting GH3 controllers. The lack of "cooperation" is actually the lack of cash flow. That's what you get for allowing companies to go from "players" to "bosses" in a market :) Anyway, I don't have a PS3 and I don't play games that require special controllers, so they can keep this up forever, for all I care. My apathy aside however, they have to realize that they'll get more money out of gamers than from a stupid copyright deal.

meluvulongtime8
meluvulongtime8

Activision is losing a customer unless this issue gets resolved. The only ppl they're shorting are the fans.

greystone227
greystone227

Yeah, their not mentioning the terms of the agreement for a reason.

jpfondeur
jpfondeur

While they hissyfit, we're left stuck without a bass player.

EmoPWNS
EmoPWNS

They want MONEY! Harmonix doesn't want to shell it out.

jusmurph
jusmurph

Wireless is best for party play keyser27, you just hand it over... no seat swapping...

keyser27
keyser27

I dont understand the fascination with wireless. I'd MUCH rather have a wired guitar sense you avoid these hassles and they dont require batteries. I hope the standalone guitars provide a wired model.

avatar18
avatar18

I'll just have to wait till they start selling separate instruments to get my bass. Rock Band is still a blast to play without it. I can definitly wait a couple months if Activision is going to act like a little kid about this. Activision is clearly asking for a ton of money to stop screwng over PS3 owners, I bet Microsoft is laughing at Sony for this. I don't blame Harmonix for not taking the deal, it's a matter of pride to stand up to Activision, and I'll stand by Harmonix and wait it out.

csdfdsdfs
csdfdsdfs

To Your Belefs: "You can't make something that uses someone else's proprietary software/hardware and not have some sort of collaboration. THAT is what this comes down to. As far as money goes, Activision has EVERY right to request some sort of monetary compensation. You think they just want to give their information away for free?" Umm....i think using someone else's technology does not make it automatically their business. If it was, google would owe microsoft a lot, as they use the internet explorer "proprietary technology" to deliver their google products. Companies often have their technology interact with other companies' technology. That is why some playstation peripherals are officially "branded" by sony as being approved, while others are not. The risk is the consumer's responsiblity, as would be the case with this patch. Also, Activision are not giving away something for free. They are choosing to not provide their customers an alternative to their broken guitars. Harmonix already has the patch, and it has cost activision nothing. If anything, people will hesitate to buy Rock Band if activision cares more about profits than it's customers. Harmonix is the safe choice for gamers. The issue seems to be using the sony PSN as the delivery network, thereby making them responsible as well, as the delivery vehicle in case something went wrong. There would be no issue if Activision just put the patch on their servers. By Activision still being coy about what kind of agreement they want from Harmonix, they are still at fault. They do not need to be paid to have their own peripheral work with other games. I have a steering wheel that works fine with all driving games, including Activision. Maybe activisiion wants money for that as well, since they were not "colaborators" on the device. Or am i getting something for free when i use it with Activision racing games?

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

He Said - She Said B.S. The only people that really know anything about this are the developers/publishers and their parent companies.

mrjasler
mrjasler

just face it "yourbeliefs" you got it wrong about the dongle information, so you don't know jack s*** .

yourbeliefs
yourbeliefs

To Mobes: Excuse me for not getting that dongle information correct, but that still doesn't change my point that it is proprietary technology. You think the GH3 dongle uses the same frequency/information as the RB one? No, it doesn't. Just because a computer component uses a USB or PCI card doesn't mean that it would work on both a Mac and a PC, and this is no different. Harmonix went out and created a patch without any help or input from Activision. Activision is not looking to have a p*ssing contest with Harmonix. Activision wants to be involved with this development of the patch, but apparently Harmonix did not want their assistance for whatever reason and decided to do it themselves. You can't make something that uses someone else's proprietary software/hardware and not have some sort of collaboration. THAT is what this comes down to. As far as money goes, Activision has EVERY right to request some sort of monetary compensation. You think they just want to give their information away for free? They have the advantage here. GH has a larger fan base and bigger audience. GH does not suffer at all in this case. It is only RB that suffers. Everyone who has a PS3 needs the GH3 Guitar, so therefore no one is going to be using the RB guitars for primarily GH3 because all GH3 people already have a guitar. I know that sounds like a D*ck move, but that's business. Giving Harmonix this code/assistance does not benefit Activision in any way. Sony was right to prevent this patch from being made because clearly it was made without Activision's help or assistance or even consent. Had they just released it, both Sony and Harmonix could be held liable for monetary damages. Also, if you want to see a good consumer value to this, it BEHOOVES fans for Activision and Harmonix to collaborate on this, because Activision knows the technology they use better than Harmonix does, so they can provide better feedback and support. I know you PS3 people have been shafted on numerous things, but believe me that once this is resolved it will be all for the better.

mike62884
mike62884

It's not bluetooth because it cost's more than conventional 2.4GHz wireless technology.

bgres077
bgres077

Seriously, they need to get over themselves and get these issues fixed.

Eldridge00
Eldridge00

Here's a thought...... why on earth did they not make the PS3 guitar BLUETOOTH????? it would be way better than however they did make it. Because truthfully as far as wireless goes, it does not really work all that well.

Irve
Irve

Hmmm , Activision say it's Harmonixs fault because they won't pay them money ... Hmmm ..... fool no one you will !

mobes83
mobes83

If anyone says that this is a technology problem because one uses a "dongle" and the other doesn't (yourbeliefs) they obviously don't know what they are talking about. I have both for PS3 and I am one of those people that only bought GH3 becuase we were lead to believe that it would work with RB. A hint to those uninformed gamers, both games have a "dongle" that works similarly. Both take the infrared single given off by the controller and translate it for the game. The only reason for the "dongles" is cause the companies didn't use Bluetooth for their controllers.

decoy1978
decoy1978

This statement in no way addresses why they didn't allow Harmonix the Go Ahead on the patch. My guess is simply that Activision asked for TOO much money from Harmonix for the patch release. Activision is looking extremely bad in my eyes and I'll tell all my customers to stop supporting them.

coolcat888
coolcat888

Oh well. Activision is missing this as a way to make more money. People want another guitar controller, except, the one made for Rock Band Doesn't come out until February '08. If Activision made a patch, it would be the only way to have a second guitar controller, then people would buy GH lll.

Tybolt
Tybolt

Activison is failing big time...

ghostface26
ghostface26

"dkdk999," Why does Harmonix suck? They made GHI and GHII and they both were really great. Rock band even went further and expanded on it with new instruments and everything. GHIII is probably the biggest disappointment of the year, no expansion on the genre whatsoever. GHIII seems like just a clone of GHII with just more songs, not really fun either.