Kurt Cobain may not have been alive to turn down Activision's offer to appear as a fully playable character on Guitar Hero 5 (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii), but Jon Bon Jovi most definitely is! Talking to BBC, the rocker revealed that Activision had also approached him to appear for the game, which he rejected.
Recounted Bon Jovi:
I had the paperwork, they wanted me to be on that game and I just passed. But no one ever broached the subject with me that I would be singing other people's stuff. I don't know how I would have reacted to that. I don't know that I would have wanted it either.
Hmmm... seems like Activision pulled a sneaky one on Cobain's estate. The Nirvana frontman's widow is madly alleging that Activision breached the contract when they made her famous hubby playable even for other songs. Surviving Nirvana members, Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl, have also expressed their disappointment over this set-up. Activision is saying that they "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."
Personally, taking Bon Jovi's statements into account, it looks to me like both parties *could* be right. Activision did secure the necessary permit for the use of Cobain's likeness in the game, true. But what they're not saying is how they failed to disclose that particular pertinent info about Cobain's image being used to play in other songs. After all, it does make sense for the Cobain party to think that they wanna use Kurt's likeness to play and sing his own songs.
But that's just me. Let this be a lesson for all you future rock icons out there. Make sure to read the fine print! If you don't see one, make sure to ask if there is one at all. You know, just in case they wanna use your likeness in a music simulation game someday