Gibson Wields Axe At Guitar Game

Guitar manufacturer Gibson is taking legal action against the makers of the "Guitar Hero" game because it infringes on one of its patents for a virtual-reality music system.

Activision, which launched "Guitar Hero" two years ago and has raked in $1 billion (£500 million) by shifting 16 million copies, denies the claim.

The rock ‘n’ roll guitar mainstay says the guitar-shaped controller Activision uses violates a decade-old patent.

"Guitar Hero" enables the player, regardless of even a modicum of talent, to become an axe legend and join in with whatever music is chosen by pushing a sequence of coloured buttons in time with the rhythm.

Gibson has put out a statement saying it "has encouraged Activision to enter into discussions in an effort to secure a conclusion," but the game company had upped the stakes by making a public statement on the issue and filing for legal action against the guitar maker.

Activision’s lawyers say they dispute the claim, and that it is invalid because of the length of time between the game’s launch and Gibson’s complaint.