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Surviving Nirvana members "disappointed" at Cobain use in Guitar Hero 5

Grohl and Novoselic slam "pantomiming" playable character

Surviving Nirvana band members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have issued a joint statement saying they are disappointed that dead singer Kurt Cobain is being used in Activision's Guitar Hero 5 as a playable character.

Yesterday, Cobain's widow Courtney Love tweeted that she would sue Activision for using images of the iconic rock star, although the publisher has said that she herself signed away the rights to use his likeness.

"We want people to know that we are dismayed and very disappointed in the way a facsimile of Kurt is used in the Guitar Hero game. The name and likeness of Kurt Cobain are the sole property of his estate - we have no control whatsoever in that area," said Grohl and Novoselic.

"While we were aware of Kurt's image being used with two Nirvana songs, we didn't know players have the ability to unlock the character. This feature allows the character to be used with any kind of song the player wants. We urge Activision to do the right thing in 're-locking' Kurt's character so that this won't continue in the future.

"It's hard to watch an image of Kurt pantomiming other artists' music alongside cartoon characters. Kurt Cobain wrote songs that hold a lot of meaning to people all over the world. We feel he deserves better," they added.

Activision told Kotaku that "Guitar Hero secured the necessary licensing rights from the Cobain estate in a written agreement signed by Courtney Love to use Kurt Cobain's likeness as a fully playable character in Guitar Hero 5."

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Matt Martin


Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.