Michael Jackson's estate alters Plants vs. Zombies

The iPhone version of Plants vs. Zombies is about to get a little bit less thrilling, with other platforms to follow suit. The most stylish and musical of enemies – the Dancing Zombie – has discovered a new wardrobe, now preferring a disco-themed ensemble.

Previously sporting a red leather jacket, ankle-baring trousers, white socks and a mop of black hair, you could be forgiven for observing that the Dancing Zombie took more than a few fashion cues (and moves) from the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

Plants vs. Zombies: Dancing Zombie

Dancing Zombie given his marching orders

Originally released for PC in May 2009, prior to Jackson’s demise, the inclusion of the Thriller-themed undead has always been a talking point for gamers. Some loved the inclusion, others felt a little uncomfortable. We hear today that Jackson’s estate are heavily in the second camp, and they requested developers PopCap Games remove his likeness from the game.

“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.”

So – what do you think? Personally, I loved the Dancing Zombie (well, I hated the Dancing Zombie and his army of back-up dancers, but I loved the concept), so I’ll be disappointed to see him go. Who knows quite what personality the new Disco Dead will bring?

…incidentally, we hear that if you have an iPhone 4 and you want to play a few quick levels of PvZ while waiting for the bus – do not update your game. A bug has worked its way in, and the newest update will cause the game to crash. Oops.

If you haven’t yet bought the game, go ahead – the bug only affects people updating. And it shouldn’t affect them for too long, we hear that “a fix is in the works and should be ready soon.” Sounds like you can play with the Dancing Zombie for a little while longer!

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