Activision settles mono sound suit

Publisher agrees to out-of-court resolution to claims that Wii edition outputting in single-channel audio only, settlement guarantees all valid petitioners a free GHIII faceplate.

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Most purchasers of the Wii edition of Guitar Hero III were happy enough to raise a ruckus on the game's message boards when it was discovered that their technically advanced music emulation software was outputting in early-20th-century mono sound. After months of muting disgruntled fans, Activision finally copped to the problem, saying in December that it would freely replace faulty discs with a remastered version, but not before a few of the more industrious buyers took the publisher to court over the issue.

The class action suit, filed by Samuel Livingston in the United States District Court for the Central District of California on behalf of himself and others who purchased the Wii version of the game, alleged that Activision engaged in "deceptive and unlawful conduct in designing, manufacturing, marketing, distributing, and selling a defectively designed music video game for the Nintendo Wii game console." The defect in question was that the game outputted in mono sound only, despite stereo sound and Dolby Pro Logic II surround sound being advertised on the game's box and manual.

This week, it has come to light that Livingston et al and Activision have settled the dispute out of court. Rather than having Activision stripped of all profits stemming from the Wii edition as the original suit demanded, the settlement stipulates a far less severe penalty for the publisher. As per the settlement, Activision's replacement program will extend until August 31, 2008, and grant all purchasers who submit a valid replacement request a free GHIII faceplate in addition to a remastered disc. Further, Activision can longer manufacture the offending edition of GHIII. The reached agreement encompass games sold in the US only.

Those who are having audio issues with the Wii edition of Guitar Hero III can head over to Activision's official Web site for more information on the free replacement disc.

Discussion

62 comments
Omnipresence
Omnipresence

I love how people can't just rectify other peoples misunderstandings or offer another side of an argument, oh no, they have to throw in smart-ass comments regarding age, income or other totally irrelevant things.

Carnas
Carnas

@Armalite This is called ACCOUNTABILITY - these game companies are making millions upon millions off us, and as paying consumers we deserve to get at least what is advertised, no matter how trivial the issue in question is. You should be glad there are people in this world that actually step up to the plate and fight for the rights of others instead of sitting on their couch complaining on forums. I can see this as hard to understand if mommy is still the one paying for your video games.

Armalite1016
Armalite1016

Wow why is it that every week I read about a new lawsuit against a game company, about a completely trivial issue, that some complete moron thinks qualifies as horrible enough to sue the company for???

Sk8rlink
Sk8rlink

I thank the lord i got the 360 version, the Wii is ok if you are casual gamer, but if you want cool stuff get a PS3 or a 360, they really got the goods, and before you say, oh my a 360 fanboy, no in fact i was a nintendo diehard untill the Wii disapointed me, with only 3 games that really had value, The godfather, Supersmash( we all knew it was gonna be great) and no more heros, and seeing that these are poorly sold( except Smash) I decided to get an xbox 360, and I was glad, I cant get off halo3, gears, call of duty4, GH3 and FIFA 08, but no I am not a socially outcast, I have a life, for those who think i dont have a life, so instead, sell your Wii, get a 360 and hook up on Live; a real internet system and have the time of your live

mjharper34
mjharper34

I wondered why I got that faceplate in the mail. This is old news, or it is at least breaking late. I received my faceplate about a month ago via FedEx. And I thought RedOctane sent me that faceplate out of the goodness of their hearts. Boy, I feel kinda dumb now.

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

@railroberto: we have money to buy the wii and the ps3 and rrod360, etc. and enough money to pay for school to be able to spell attorney correctly.

dr_jashugan
dr_jashugan

Mono Sound? That's totally lame. Shame yourself Activision. 8)

KBABZ
KBABZ

Mauller, I'll extend my quote. "As per the settlement, Activision's replacement program will extend until August 31, 2008, and grant all purchasers who submit a valid replacement request a free GHIII faceplate in addition to a remastered disc. Further, Activision can longer manufacture the offending edition of GHIII. The reached agreement encompass games sold in the US only." See? No dice for us over here.

KBABZ
KBABZ

Mauller, I'll extend my quote. "As per the settlement, Activision's replacement program will extend until August 31, 2008, and grant all purchasers who submit a valid replacement request a free GHIII faceplate in addition to a remastered disc. Further, Activision can longer manufacture the offending edition of GHIII. The reached agreement encompass games sold in the US only." See? No dice for us over here. I would agree that asking for ALL royalties off of Activision was way over the top, but at least someone took action to get us Stereo sound. Considering that this is a music-based game it's far more important than you would think. Oh and quit giving the Wii some flack. Can your precious 360 do motion sensing (or if you have a PS3, beyond a gimmick)? 80's gaming technology indeed...

tasthomas
tasthomas

LOL Why do so many people feel the need to "slam" the Wii? It doesn't seem to matter what the topic is; there are always a handful of people who feel the need to do it. I guess it just makes them feel better about themselves. Maybe it's because the Wii wasn't supposed to be the #1 selling system. There are obviously ALOT of people who DO like the Wii. I'm just glad that I'm secure enough to not care what other unhappy, angry, insecure people think about what system I like to use. I love all the turn-based strategy games on the DS, and I love playing games with my wife and kids on the Wii. I think the term "hard-core gamer" means no life outside of video games; if thats the case, then I'd be happy to be labeled as a casual gamer.

jkuzeja
jkuzeja

I'll tell you what I'd like a lot more than a free faceplate. I'd like Activision to join the 21st century and set up a cross-shipping program for the replacement disks. I paid for that disk, and I want to play the game. I don't want to NOT play it for FOUR weeks because Activision screwed up.

Get_Shorty
Get_Shorty

Hope that's the last time a Big Company tries to pull one over on us. We'll catch it!

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Eh, I love my Wii, but I got it for 360 anyway so I could use the guitar for Rock Band when it came out last Christmas. :) Plus...achievements! :D

railroberto2007
railroberto2007

If you have money to hire a attorny wouldnt you have money to buy a ps3 or xbox360 to play the better version anyway? lol

buzzguy
buzzguy

Wow, all along I thought Wii owners didn't give a fly about 21st century technology like "stereo" and "surround sound"!

mbartoetg
mbartoetg

To further this along... don't let me make you think that some companies shouldn't be sued. That's not at all what I'm trying to get across. Let's say some doctor "accidently" leaves a pair of forceps in your chest cavity because of an all nighter leaving him hungover for the next day's surgeries... by all means, sue the crap out of him. Halo4 (just wishing) leaves out a multiplayer map that they advertise on the back of the box... gimme a break. They'll fix it...

Generic_Dude
Generic_Dude

Kindof a pointless lawsuit... didn't they guarantee a free remastered disc to anyone affected months ago? So what was the point of all this? Ugh... at least they only get a faceplate, but they shouldn't get even that.

mbartoetg
mbartoetg

Are law suits the only thing that get the attention of big business? Maybe some. But I hope one day that you're not on the other side of that fence being sued for trying to achieve the American Dream because of something that accidentally got left out. Sandlynx9 As for my maturity, I'm probably older than you. Doesn't matter. If you feel cheated then by all means go to the company and plead your case. Most of the time you'll get results without getting an attorney involved. Want developers to produce better games for the next gen systems (especially the Wii)? Then you may want to keep money in their pockets. Hope I didn't mindlessly insult you on this one, but I still feel that sue happy people are sue happy rejects. My opinion of course.

Sandlynx9
Sandlynx9

@ mbartoetg You can be a leader/inventor/whatever completely irrelevant title you want to spout off about and still feel cheated by a company. The fact is that Activision is a huge company that must face the music when they screw up. People felt cheated and someone DID something about it. Sure, there are many ridiculous lawsuits but at least this one had merit. The fact that you call these people "rejects' just proves that you are ignorant and immature. You can disagree with people without mindlessly insulting them.

StaticPlayer
StaticPlayer

Companies only listen to lawsuits. while it may have been unfair to ask to turn over all profits from the game for this minor issue, this is the only way companies will listen to the masses. Because we have lives being inventors, leaders, whatever, that we don't have time to picket at the headquarters of Red Octane to get our way. And you know all know the protesting works right............?

mbartoetg
mbartoetg

"stick it to them?" After reading some of these posts it looks like some of you think Activision intentionally went into production without stereo support. Hmmm... Maybe the world is right. Maybe the US has produced a bunch of rejects that feel like they should have everything handed to them on a silver platter. We are sue crazy. We gripe about losing jobs to foreign countries only to sue the ones we have to force them into filing chapter 11 because we want a piece of the pie without us having to get off our lazy @$$es and put down our game controllers. Court cases like this make us look like a joke. Sue McDonald's for a hot pickle. Sue Burger King for a hot cup of coffee that you spilled on yourself. Gimme a break. Just take the new disc. Take the face plate, and be content. Don't let this world turn you into another sue happy reject. Be a leader. Be an inventor. Be what ever. But keep this in mind... the world owes you nothing... I'm tired of this soap box... time to go play COD4. And yup, COD4 and XBL have had their issues too. Step up America. We're supposed to be a Super Power... not a Sue-per Power.

Crossefire00
Crossefire00

You mean the Wii can actually handle stereo sound?!?! I'm impressed...lol I agree that Activision was way in the wrong here. But you did get the audio to match the video quality...=) WiiTards Unite!!!

Mauller
Mauller

@KBABZ How are you not getting anything? You get a free replacement of the disc to make up for their mistake. You're getting what you paid for. Only people looking to maximize their greed and selfishness are complaining that they were somehow hurt by this mistake and need to be paid off. BS. Retarded American practice.

mjk_1
mjk_1

I'm sure they've fooled a lot of people.

KBABZ
KBABZ

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Shmoe82
Shmoe82

Mono? WTF? Its not the 50's. So I guess they also are assuming we listen to A.M radio and get our news at the movie theater.

PixyMisao
PixyMisao

"Further, Activision can longer manufacture the offending edition of GHIII" Huh? Grammer check on this fairly important issue please.

MSG-Deathscythe
MSG-Deathscythe

after receiving my replacement disc 1 week and a half ago, i received the faceplate a couple of days after. i thought it was activision's way of apologizing for the deception, coz the note that came with the package didn't say anything about the faceplate being part of a settled lawsuit. regardless, the faceplate was a nice one. i received a faceplate with a black phoenix, with red and orange color background. i'm not gh3 crazy enough to buy faceplates for the guitars, but this actually turned out ok.

Lucidmike78
Lucidmike78

Wouldn't it be funny if the face plate was not really a plate, but a lacquer coated piece of paper?

KBABZ
KBABZ

"The reached agreement encompass games sold in the US only." OMFG, how typical! ONCE AGAIN, us PALers get the short-to-no end of the stick! Even these suing guys don't care about us!

roll450
roll450

Yup Activision did get off easily for this one. Well atleast its going to some with a GH3 face plate as a bonus edition to it.

cheese4927
cheese4927

Why in the US only??? What about Canada??? I think we're just as deserving as anyone else for a free faceplate...

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

"Further, Activision can longer manufacture the offending edition of GHIII." I think you missed the no there...

PhantomPhoot
PhantomPhoot

Will Guitar Hero III win an award for "Most Lawsuits Ever On a Video Game"?

dmish82
dmish82

Wow, Activision got off easy on this one.

PiNwOrM
PiNwOrM

Activion deserved harsher.

wiifan001
wiifan001

I've had Guitar hero 3 since Christmas and I've never tried stereo. I"ve always done mono. I'm going to try that this weekend.

HOMIE_G64
HOMIE_G64

Yeah blackstaff... 'cuz there is never any losers in this world right? Well anyways, I say Rock Band > GHIII.

Blackstaff
Blackstaff

They should have just gone to court and let the people spend all their money on a lawyer.. then again they'd probably win because you can win ANYTHING in courts now adays

DarkMaster7991
DarkMaster7991

Heh...whatever I am using the refund form. Most of my friend have the 360 version anyways....I mean it's alittle too late for me since I fully played it on the Wii and thye never gave us all thoese faceplates or content. I feel cheated alittle. (Why haven't they talked about the refund alot?).....I wonder...

lew_0911
lew_0911

GS missed a "no" in the "Further, Activision can [no] longer manufacture the offending edition of GHIII". Seriously, though, a monaural lawsuit? BOOHOO my left and right speaker play the same thing.

TicTac8745
TicTac8745

Hmmm... well Activision, now can you not be a fuss and also settle the PS3 guitar Rock Band patch issue?

jakob_187
jakob_187

They may have replaced the disc, but the lawsuit would've held up in court. When it all comes down to it, I'm glad this guy put a lawsuit out about this issue, as Activision was obviously aware of the problem with the game. Regardless, they still put the game on store shelves, and we paid our $90 for a game that wasn't everything it was promised to be. Sure, it's great and all that they are replacing the discs, but before, like Shadow said (and I was in most of the forum posts about this issue on the Activision site as well), they were deleting the threads and didn't even want to acknowledge the problem. The biggest reason for this lawsuit was so we could get our damn game fixed!!! I'm sorry, but any company that puts a game out that is BASED AROUND THE AUDIO, then advertises DOLBY PRO LOGIC II SURROUND and we only get MONO (go watch Monty Python with the mono soundtrack turned on...THAT is what is sounds like, people). Either way, I'm glad that this guy and the people behind this lawsuit stuck it to Activision and showed them that we aren't going to be short-handed. Now, I can only hope they don't do the same thing to Guitar Hero: Aerosmith. Still looking forward to getting a free faceplate, but I'm sure it's going to be some crappy one. By God, if I get a Fall Out Boy faceplate...I'm gonna sue them!!!

chatboy91
chatboy91

Hmm, I hope I get my disc back soon, I mailed it last week, hopefully I'll get it back. Nice to see that Activision is giving out the faceplates, but I don't really mind, I'm just glad they're giving out free replacement discs, and the law suite is completely unnecessary. Besides, I was going to spray paint my white faceplate anyways.

mkirklions11
mkirklions11

bawhahahaha my 360 version runs with stereo along with online.

shoeman12
shoeman12

i still think the whole lawsuit was stupid. they were going to replace free of charge even before this.

shadow_wolf8192
shadow_wolf8192

It's funny how some of you defend the company that takes the money we give them, assuming that we wii owners where getting Pro Logic II based sound. It was not even "STEREO" for God's sake. Did you know we where getting our threads removed at Activision's forum just because we discussed this issue. We where ignored, wether we use Pro Logic II or not, stereo should had been a given. I was not disappointed that it was a bug, but the fact that they made a big mistake and the fact that they prefered to keep it "hushed-up" until the demand lowerd, not giving a damn about the consumer. And whats with the retarded generalizations, why do people take every oppurtunity to bash Americans. This is a gaming site lets keep it a gaming site, keep your little emotional rants out of this, atleast keep them on topic. Finally, I only approve of suing anyone if it is based on intentional wrong doing or to solve an issue or dispute, in this case it brought attention to our issue: Getting the proper sound for a game that is based on our favorite "music"...lol cmon anyways I like the faceplate, I just wish it did not had to go that far, to make them listen to us Wii owners. Peace

Megawizard
Megawizard

Someone please shoot that guy. They agreed to replace the disks. Talk about frivolous.