Monday, August 2, 2010

'Plants Vs Zombies' Almost Sued By Jackson Estate or "Do The Zombie Hustle!"

Have you ever heard or played ''Plants vs Zombies''? If you have, you know it is one the most addictive games to come out of Pop Cap Games in the last long while. It's full of imaginative zombie types, not the least of which is the Moonwalker Zombie, a 'Michael Jackson-esque' zombie that summons a squad of back-up dancer zombies to attack en masse.

Well, the estate of Michael Jackson (read, 'Poppa Joe Jackson') didn't like this and instigated proceedings to sue Pop Cap Games for defamation. Cleverly side-stepping the lawsuit, Pop Cap decided to remove the MJ zombie and replace it with this, the new, improved 'Moonwalker Zombie'!

What kind of bothers me isn't that Pop Cap decided to take an appropriate course of action to avoid a potentially damaging lawsuit. It's that the Jackson estate decided that this kind of thing was entirely necessary. I know there is some sort of legal precedent for this, 'defamation of character' or the likeness of the Gloved on in "Thriller" being copyrighted and what not.

The original Moonwalker Zombie was, at best, a loving homage to one of the most innovative music videos of the 1980s. I mean, if people who do parodies of such things can be sued, MAD Magazine better watch out!

(Via Joystick Division)

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