Who’s bad? Apparently the legal team of the Michael Jackson Estate, that’s who. Thanks to a bit of a tiff on behalf of the deceased entertainer’s estate, the famed zombie from PopCap’s Plants vs. Zombies is no more.
The publisher of the popular iPhone, PC and soon-to-be XBLA game confirmed today that the character has shed its Thriller-esque garb in a new update, after “the Estate of Michael Jackson objected to our use of the ‘dancing zombie’ in Plants vs. Zombies based on its view that the zombie too closely resembled Michael Jackson.”
“After receiving this objection, PopCap made a business decision to retire the original ‘dancing zombie’ and replace it with a different ‘dancing zombie’ character for future builds of PLANTS vs.ZOMBIES on all platforms. The phase-out and replacement process is underway.“
I guess the red leather jacket, curly black hair and ability to “summon back up dancers” gave it away. Interestingly, PopCap notes in the character’s description that “any resemblance between Dancing Zombie and persons living or dead is purely coincidental,” even though it was quite clearly inspired by the singer’s Thriller look. And it was released a bit prior to his untimely passing last June. Wonder why there was no issue all this time? I really hate it when lawyers try to intentionally fuck things up. Shamon, MJ Estate. Shamon.
For a good videogame fix of the King of Pop, you’ll either have to play the old school Moonwalker, or wait until this fall, grab Xbox Kinect or PlayStation Move, and then get Ubisoft’s dancing product. Or just not update Plants vs. Zombies, I guess.