"I think it does hurt them," said Stephen Smith, a partner specializing in entertainment and video game litigation with Greenberg Glusker, tells Variety. As Smith points out, Activision should strive to keep big names like No Doubt happy.
"The music community is notoriously insular," adds Smith. "If you get a bad name with a couple of well-respected artists, you're going to have trouble with all of them." Musicians want to be cool, but bandied about like marionettes on stage.
This year, music game sales are behind 2008's retail pace by 40 percent.