Michael Jackson Zombie To Be Yanked Out of Plants vs. Zombies

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Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

The fact that I can't succinctly explain what the Michael Jackson zombie in pseudo-tower defense game Plants vs. Zombies looks like without using the words "Michael" and "Jackson" does a pretty good job in explaining why the zombie--officially dubbed "Dancing Zombie"--has been removed in the iPhone version of the game, and will also be removed in others as well.

MTV Multiplayer reports that that the Michael Jackson estate has objected to the use of the moon-walking zombie in the casual title. As a result, creator PopCap Games is removing the zombie and replacing it with a disco-themed variant. The Apple handheld version is the first to feel the pain. 
 

 
In a statement given to the publication, a PopCap representative is calling the move "a business decision" based on the estate's objection. All subsequent "future builds" of the title, including the forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade version that boasts versus and co-op elements, won't have the Michael Jackson zombie. 

Just FYI: the zombie, which was created in tribute to Jackson's "Thriller," was in the game before the man's death. So, while the estate certainly has the right to bring up an issue, it's not like PopCap tossed the dude in the game as some sort of malicious spoof.    
#1 Posted by BradNicholson (812 posts) -

The fact that I can't succinctly explain what the Michael Jackson zombie in pseudo-tower defense game Plants vs. Zombies looks like without using the words "Michael" and "Jackson" does a pretty good job in explaining why the zombie--officially dubbed "Dancing Zombie"--has been removed in the iPhone version of the game, and will also be removed in others as well.

MTV Multiplayer reports that that the Michael Jackson estate has objected to the use of the moon-walking zombie in the casual title. As a result, creator PopCap Games is removing the zombie and replacing it with a disco-themed variant. The Apple handheld version is the first to feel the pain. 
 

 
In a statement given to the publication, a PopCap representative is calling the move "a business decision" based on the estate's objection. All subsequent "future builds" of the title, including the forthcoming Xbox Live Arcade version that boasts versus and co-op elements, won't have the Michael Jackson zombie. 

Just FYI: the zombie, which was created in tribute to Jackson's "Thriller," was in the game before the man's death. So, while the estate certainly has the right to bring up an issue, it's not like PopCap tossed the dude in the game as some sort of malicious spoof.    
#2 Posted by wonderhare (350 posts) -

Seriously??

#3 Posted by MuttersomeTaxicab (676 posts) -

Next the sasquatch and the Zamboni estate will be filing papers.
#4 Posted by Little_Socrates (5715 posts) -

Apparently the Jackson Estate doesn't like money. 'cause, you know, random homages MAKE YOU MONEY!

#5 Posted by crusader8463 (14429 posts) -

*Insert Picard facepalm photo here*

#6 Posted by Zidane_24 (740 posts) -

Disappointing.

#7 Posted by EternalDarkWing (66 posts) -

Boo fucking hoo.

#8 Posted by mrsmiley (1146 posts) -

what. the. hell. it's people like this that make me hate people.

#9 Posted by Mikemcn (7018 posts) -

Not cool

#10 Posted by lokilaufey (294 posts) -

That's just bullshit. I am disappoint.

#11 Posted by scarace360 (4828 posts) -

REALLY. you gotta be fucking kidding me if i was in a game i would be happy.

#12 Posted by Krakn3Dfx (2502 posts) -

Wait...that's not Mick Jagger?

#13 Posted by SuperKcross (89 posts) -

BOOOOOOO

#14 Posted by RobotHamster (4177 posts) -

Awwwww

#15 Posted by RecSpec (3930 posts) -

Can we also get an update on whether or not Gary Coleman will still appear in PAIN?

#16 Posted by cinemandrew (710 posts) -

I wish my likeness was in PvZ. Maybe I should write to pop cap to tell them I'm officially objecting to the lack of my likeness in their awesome game.

#17 Posted by DG991 (1340 posts) -

I thought it was rick james. 

#18 Posted by Mikewrestler5 (601 posts) -

And how do they plan to take him out of the PC version? An update?

#19 Posted by FateOfNever (1855 posts) -

Well that's fucking lame.

#20 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

will be interesting to see the new disco themed zombie !

#21 Posted by jayc4life (132 posts) -
  Get this guy to replace him.
#22 Posted by EternalDarkWing (66 posts) -
@JessicaBoo said:
" Ok? Michael Jackson is an idol fine, so bloody what????!?!???!?!?!?!   So next will be, cutting legs of the people that do the moon dancing all around the world???  *moon dances* Thus i conclude, MTV Multiplayer you are an imbecil! "
Are you stupid all the time, or is it just today?
#23 Posted by This_Dude (295 posts) -

I'm pretty sure the use of a Michael Jackson esque zombie would be protected under "Fair Use" in the constitution.  since it was used as parody in a small part of a much larger final product.  There's no reason they should remove this zombie.  I gotta find a way to keep steam from updating this product,  cause that was one of the funniest moments of this game,  when the Thriller zombie popped up, i laughed every time.

#24 Posted by MattyFTM (14432 posts) -

If he didn't appear as a zombie in one of his music video's, I could totally understand the objection. But it's a homage to Thriller, it's not in bad taste at all.

Moderator
#25 Posted by EternalDarkWing (66 posts) -
@This_Dude said:
" I'm pretty sure the use of a Michael Jackson esque zombie would be protected under "Fair Use" in the constitution.  since it was used as parody in a small part of a much larger final product.  There's no reason they should remove this zombie.  I gotta find a way to keep steam from updating this product,  cause that was one of the funniest moments of this game,  when the Thriller zombie popped up, i laughed every time. "
Yeah, I'm sure they could pull that card if they wanted to, but, as they said, it was their own business decision based on the objection.
#26 Posted by MayorFeedback (674 posts) -

Well, I'm definitely setting Plants vs. Zombies to not auto-update in Steam when I get home. 
  
And, yeah, this should be covered legally as a parody, but the mere threat of a huge lawsuit and all the legal costs associated with it (even a frivolous one) is, I'm sure, enough to make Pop Cap back down.

#27 Posted by oddjob (110 posts) -

Not cool at all

#28 Posted by Woodwater (87 posts) -

Worst. News. Ever.

#29 Posted by travisgamedev (2 posts) -

It's too bad. MJ would have wanted to remain a part of modern day culture. It would make his memory live on. As the estate slowly takes him out of every reference in modern culture, he will slowly be forgotten.

#30 Posted by Frootsnax (73 posts) -

Well I know 1 game i'm never patching.

#31 Posted by Bummey (616 posts) -

Replacing Michael with... DISCO?  I think I'm going to have a stroke.

#32 Posted by Apathylad (3067 posts) -

So, are they going to remove every single Michael Jackson spoof from TV shows, too? 
  

   
  
#33 Posted by EternalDarkWing (66 posts) -
@Apathylad said:

" So, are they going to remove every single Michael Jackson spoof from TV shows, too?"

They are going to find and burn all of the copies of Moonwalker.
#34 Posted by GunnBjorn (2911 posts) -

 
I sympathize to an extent, since he is dead it's somewhat degoutant to put him in the game as the 'Thriller'-Zombie. Still, it's a pity. MJ was all about entertainment, i don't think he'd disapprove of it.    

#35 Posted by bonbolapti (1626 posts) -

well I guess that's what will happen to zombie michael jackson now.
Unless this is a certain context to it :P
 
but meh, it's no big deal

#36 Posted by BestUsernameEver (4825 posts) -

Guys calm down, it's just one Zombie being replaced, it's not like they announcing PvZ is never coming back.

#37 Edited by Shuborno (938 posts) -

Super weak. 
 
A cultural icon is going to be referenced in popular culture!  Why fight this?  This was the goal!

#38 Posted by buzz_killington (3532 posts) -

Where the Michael Jackson estate playing Plants vs. Zombies?? That's cool!

#39 Posted by KillyDarko (1888 posts) -

Bunch of idiots with no sense of humour...

#40 Posted by lordofultima (6282 posts) -

You know, I think the dancing zombie is great homage to Michael Jackson if anything. It's in good fun...so this is the part where MJ's family runs his name into the ground further. Awesome.

#41 Posted by Turtlemayor333 (510 posts) -

So obviously the estate feels the same way about the Thriller video and in light of Jackson's death will refuse to profit from that as well.
 
...Right?

#42 Posted by ELpork (303 posts) -

LAME!

#43 Posted by TheGreatGuero (9130 posts) -

That's lame.

#44 Posted by BulletStorm (488 posts) -

Every member of the Jackson Estate is a talentless jerkoff who needs the support of Michael Jackson even after his death - I say PopCap doesn't back down and finally shows up to these pricks. 

#45 Edited by shanchett99 (167 posts) -

and once again we lose an ounce of enjoyment. 
all i can say is. 
 
That's Ignorance

#46 Posted by Brackynews (4094 posts) -

Kudos to Brad for not using the phrase "Beat It" in the title or body text.
This ain't no Thorsenink punnery.

#47 Posted by Shadow (4988 posts) -

Well that sucks.  Still though, I hate that damn zombie, and I don't care for Michael Jackson so It's all for the best I suppose.

#48 Posted by fozzyozzy (52 posts) -

disco roller skating zombies actually wouldn't be a bad addition.   
 
Also, since no M. J. how about a zombie wearing torn jeans and a flannel shirt holding a shotgun?  He could be called "Kurt Kobrains".

#49 Posted by Swaboo (451 posts) -

They could replace it with zombie Jesus that raises 4 of his apostles from the grave with him. That way no one is offended!

#50 Posted by JessicaBoo (404 posts) -

No comment, seriously? 

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