RedOctane trying to settle Guitar Hero suits

Guitar Hero publisher and unlicensed peripheral maker Ant Commandos sit down at bargaining table after legal exchange.


In August, Guitar Hero publisher RedOctane and parent company Activision filed suit against The Ant Commandos, makers of an unlicensed line of peripherals for the hit rhythm game, alleging a number of trademark infringements. The Ant Commandos fired right back with a countersuit alleging that RedOctane swiped the official Guitar Hero peripheral's design from its parent company's "Magical Guitar" controller, released years earlier for Konami's Guitar Freaks line of games.

However, what had the potential to be an unruly mess on par with anything related to the Sex Pistols could be ending early with nary an amp smashed or a bass drum kicked in. According to a court filing last week, the judge in the case granted a request by both parties that their arguments in the case be delayed while they try to hammer out a compromise.

"The parties are currently negotiating a potential settlement of this matter and have a reasonable, good faith belief that settlement may be reached within the next seven to ten days," the companies wrote in their joint motion, filed on October 26.

A representative for Activision and RedOctane had not returned GameSpot's request for comment as of press time, but a rep with The Ant Commandos said there was no settlement at this time, and declined to comment further.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 60 comments about this story
60 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
  • 60 results
  • 1
  • 2
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for SwirvyIrvy

I hope this doesn't get in the way of the 360 launch

Avatar image for styx56

I'm playing guitar hero right now and it rocks so I don't give a crap. But really c'mon there is so much companys fileing law suits at each other almost every day. Give it rest people!

Avatar image for grave_rob

"i'm gonna sue YOU!" "Oh yeah?! well i'm gonna sue YOU!"

Avatar image for el_polloloco

well if your going to make a guitar game chances are that the controller will look surprisingly like a guitar o.O i mean its not like your going to play a guitar game with a drum set

Avatar image for erikrulz007

i got an idea...instead of using gibson guitars...try using a fender strat? or would thay break the status quoe to much

Avatar image for _Sam_

I wonder what the result will be

Avatar image for sweet1234

Dont really care im rockin out with it at this very minute....

Avatar image for Aldolicious

Who cares... NOT ME!!!! i gonna pick up guitar hero the day it comes out... and "jam" the whole day... ROCK ON!!!!! hahaha

Avatar image for bigbrown69

man do the law suoits ever stop

Avatar image for TheBitterEnd

Seriously, though. Usually, around these boards, no one gives a damn if you can play the real thing or not. Especially not if you're on the GH boards. I know it's hard for most normal "Americans" to grasp this concept, but the point of a game is FUN. That's the point of this game. FUN. Don't ruin it for the rest of us with your trolling. Go die in a ditch someplace while the rest of us are having -fun-.

Avatar image for Gamepro2421

rhythm games are boring...

Avatar image for Metallicadam379

"I like to play my real guitar. I have seen people dum obscene amounts of time trying to play this game. It annoys me because people could be writing and playing these songs for real. You could be making your own music, and could be having real people clap for you. I just don't get it. " Hey buddy, not everyone on this game just plays fake guitar. I play real guitar, too. Turns out I make my own music, too. A couple of songs, one which clocks in at about 15 minutes. I do both, one for a possible career, and one for fun. It is not like it is one or the other, you can do both.

Avatar image for Supperdude9

"I like to play my real guitar. I have seen people dum obscene amounts of time trying to play this game. It annoys me because people could be writing and playing these songs for real. You could be making your own music, and could be having real people clap for you. I just don't get it." Who are you, Jack Thompson or something? IT'S JUST A GAME, AND WE PLAY GAMES TO HAVE FUN. If we feel like we can have a future in this, we will actually pick up a guitar and give it a try. Besides, this game has helped me get a rythym going. I find this game fun, I play it to have a good time, and you come in here and are acting all serious. Settle down, dude. If I want to pick up a guitar, I will. But until then, I will rock out with the SG Guitar Controller...or should I say "Magical Guitar"? I dunno.

Avatar image for RHPS_fan

Hahaha. I get confused when I play this game because sometimes I try to play the song like how you play it on a real guitar instead of the controller.

Avatar image for JOhkonut

to anyone against guitar hero: do tennis players play tennis games? do dancers play ddr? do golfers play golf games? do mystical creatures from a fantasy world play rpgs? for the most part, yes. find a game based on what you can do in the real world, and play it. trust me...its fun.

Avatar image for sony_boy_18

HEY EVERYONE THE PS3 SHIPS IN 16 DAYS .YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

Avatar image for epsilon72

jazilla said: "I like to play my real guitar. I have seen people dum obscene amounts of time trying to play this game. It annoys me because people could be writing and playing these songs for real. You could be making your own music, and could be having real people clap for you. I just don't get it." Then why are you wasting your time trolling around here? You're not going to change people's opinions with your own opinion. If you don't like the game, don't play it, and don't post in Guitar Hero related boards. Problem solved.

Avatar image for MilesTormani

Okay, I'll just throw this right on the floor. Guitar players, STFU. Before you call me a stupid fanboy, again, stuff it. I've played guitar more than I've played Guitar Hero, and it's easy enough for me to know they're two different things. One wants to seriously play guitar and hold up the effort, and the other just wants to enjoy their favorite rock songs in a more hands on manner. The only reason the videos intertwine on YouTube is because Google's engine can give you stuff on marijuana while searching for the band Dope. It's the engine at fault, not the users. Why is it so hard to see that? You know what? Screw it. You guitar-heads can keep harping your awesome skill in the "real thing," being trolls in the Guitar Hero forums, and otherwise pissing people off. I don't care anymore.

Avatar image for thewolf619

Man, I hope something is reached in time for me to use my 2 TAC Flying V Controllers with Guitar Hero 2. Then I won't need to buy the bundle for multiplayer. :)

Avatar image for Lord_Bafford

every new day, there's a new lawsuit to look forward

Avatar image for MSE369

every1 should jst take a chill pill life would bee much easier if no1 really gave a **** and no1 was soo greedy...

Avatar image for NeoGamer741

"I like to play my real guitar. I have seen people dum obscene amounts of time trying to play this game. It annoys me because people could be writing and playing these songs for real. You could be making your own music, and could be having real people clap for you. I just don't get it." I agree. I just recently (2 months ago) started playing guitar. Sure the game is fun, but it doesn't compare. Take the 50 something (more if you need the controller) and put it towards a real guitar. It is much more rewarding than just pressing five buttons. When I search around on youtube for videos of people playing a certain song, sometimes guitar hero videos come up. That is a sign of people missing the point.

Avatar image for Monstromo

jazilla, that is like not even coherent. its a game, not real music, everybody knows that, what you think because people do singing and dancing games they should front a band or be back up dancers and singers

Avatar image for jazilla

I like to play my real guitar. I have seen people dum obscene amounts of time trying to play this game. It annoys me because people could be writing and playing these songs for real. You could be making your own music, and could be having real people clap for you. I just don't get it.

Avatar image for Berem

why is everyone trying to sue everyone.. just chill

Avatar image for EPaul


Avatar image for Sanguis_Malus

I'm not sure what its like in the US but in the UK nearly all (the vast majority by far) of all such cases are settled outside of court. Neither party wants to drag things on, its costs large amounts in legal bills and ties up the courts when they could be addressing other issues. If it does go to court then the communications have failed and its a last resort.

Avatar image for timts

they released the wireless guitar, but with stupid 3 AAA batteries, I'd rather use 2 AA batteries. also with this release, I wont buy the wired guitar hero II bundle even I have made pre-order.

Avatar image for Cloud_Strife89

Great now just give me a price drop on Guitar Hero and a release date for Guitar Hero 2 360 (because I hate myself and want to spend insane amounts of money of microcontent for this game)

Avatar image for FLYmeatwad

That's great to hear that it's being settled, now I just need to know when it's coming out for the 360 so I know if I should wait or just get the PS2 one

Avatar image for brittoss

Now if only one of them would sign a deal with lego to bring a lego guitar out my life would be complete. No need to run out and buy a new guitar because I got carried away and smashed the old one. That way all I would need to do is put the pieces back together.

Avatar image for marcosa73

they are both acting like greedy bastards.

Avatar image for McDog3

"Ok, now you apologize to this boy for what you did...., you too, don't think i'm forgetting about you. Apologize and make up you two, you don't want me to drag your father into this mess do ya?"

Avatar image for maverick_76

just to let you guys know, 75% of all court cases are settled outside of the courtroom....this is nothing new.

Avatar image for Ghardon

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

Avatar image for professionalbum


Avatar image for RaiKageRyu

Ah, just get it over with already.

Avatar image for nintendorocks

Red Octane's got the right idea. Settle this quickly and quietly.

Avatar image for bossjimbob

Settling out of court is the best option. Surprising that more people/companies don't go that route first. *sigh*

Avatar image for KoruKinshi

It amazes me that Red Octane now has the balls to sue someone when they were nothing more than a third party company once themselves. You have sold your soul Red Octane...and may you rot in hell.

Avatar image for judge__judy

I guess it is screwing them over

Avatar image for korn18m

Vulpis, I don't want to start flaming directly back and forth, but I'm not ignorant. I understand that it is mostly about the insides, but outer appearance plays a part in copyright infringements too. I was just saying the Sixaxis is quite different than the Wiimote. So they both sense motion. To me, that alone isn't "liek, OOOH-eMM-Geee, teh ripoff. $onie iz a copycat!!!!11one!!" All three next gen console's controllers have buttons, analog sticks, and control by hand. You rarely hear people complaining about any system because they copied using buttons, analog sticks, or involve using your hands. I do believe they copied the "idea" of using motion control specifically in the PS3 controller because of the Wiimote, but I don't seem to think it is the huge deal people make it out to be. They didn't make a direct copy. IMO, the Sixaxis and the X360 controller are more similar than the Sixaxis and the Wiimote. If you play the same game on all three systems, PS3 and 360 would control way more similarly in my opinion. Lastly on the Wiimote / Sixaxis subject, I never even mentioned anything about not having the name DualShock 3, nor anything about the lack of rumble. I don't know if you intended that towards me or not.... ___________________________________________________________ Anyways, back on subject. I don't know all the technical details about the insides of these guitar controllers, but I'm all about choice. There needs to be more than one company releasing these things. There are third party Gamepads, Dance mats, Light guns, Arcade boards, etc. so why should guitars be any different? I understand if there are specific patents being infringed upon, but to just act like it should be illegal to make something similar to something else, such as a guitar controller, is just plain greedy, which is the impression I get from all of this. It seems like when these news articles come up, it's always "RO are suing AC for making a guitar peripheral." rather than "RO is suing AC for infringing on Patent No. 980342600012 in their guitar peripheral, a process in which the curcuit chip ....blah blah..... decodes and relays the info back to the system... etc., etc.." That could very well be just the way the article writer makes it sound, rather than what it really is, but it still just makes it seem like RedOctane (or more likely, Activision) is money hungry, and just want a monopoly on the guitar contoller market. Just think if MadCatz had a monopoly on the gamepad market. Could you imagine if only MadCatz were legally able to make regular gamepads? That would blow hard. There needs to be variety and choice.

Avatar image for Toribor

I agree with korn18m. The controller is going to be similar if the game is similar. It's inevitable.

Avatar image for Vulpis

And korn18m shows his ignorance of the whole situation. The outer shape of the controller is pretty much immaterial here--a 'guitar controller', by definition, is going to be guitar-shaped. It's the functionality and internal design that make all the difference here, and what I'm presuming Ant Commando's countersuit is all about. Similarly, the reason people are complaining about the SixAxis thing is because it guts the 'Shock' part of the Dual Shock (more on this in a moment) to replace it with an attempt to duplicate the motion-sensing tech in the Wiimote. And on a side note, there's a very simple reason to *not* call the SixAxis the DS 3--The Dual Shock (itself an 'upgrade' to Sony's earlier dual-stick analog controller) is named such for two features--the 'Dual' (which, depending on how you look at it, could refer to either the dual analog sticks, or the dual vibration motors) and the 'Shock' (which refers specifically to the action of the vibration motors). The SixAxis is missing the 'shock' part, though it still has the dual analog sticks.

Avatar image for Impulse7

Gibson have got a fair amount invested in this (I mean, they are "Gibson" guitars). So why aint the gibson custom shop getting hold of these puppies? Could you imagine a Angus Young SG custom controller with a Bigsby trem? Don't know what a bigsby is, google it kids!

Avatar image for SuperH75mil

I guess we'll all just have to be happy with RedOctane's own upcoming wireless peripheral at sixty bucks. It'll take awhile, and it'll be expensive, but hopefully it'll be worth it.

Avatar image for michael31303

Too bad Sony and Immersion didn't do the same. Now we have the SUXA$$E$ controller.

Avatar image for SteveTwo

We tried the wireless Flying V on the GH2 demo, it doesn't work. All the keys do the wrong thing. Original GH controller works fine. Look like they already made a small vicotory. Maybe TAC will release a new reciever unit that will work with GH2.

Avatar image for arab_prince

I agree with Hat_of_Joshua. In the end though, I just want to play the game lol

Avatar image for korn18m

CheddarLimbo wrote: Let's all hope for the best... My contention is this: How exactly do you make a video game guitar peripheral that *doesn't* look like the Guitar Freaks controller? Maybe they're similar because that design is the best way to emulate the action of playing a guitar. It's a guitar shape and it's got colored frets - that's the device. I don't see what they could have changed to make it significantly different and still made the controller look and act like a guitar. _____________________________________________________________ Even if it looked significantly different, people would still cry "rip off" and "copy cat". Just look at the Wii and PS3 contollers. They look nothing alike, and even function alot differently, yet people still cry "copy cat" over that. RedOctane is just mad because they want a monopoly over the guitar controller peripheral, and they can't have it.

  • 60 results
  • 1
  • 2