Popcap removes “Jackson” zombie at estate’s request

One of my favorite iOS games, Plants vs. Zombies, recently received an update that removed a zombie who resembled Michael Jackson’s character from the Thriller video. Complete with curly hair, red leather outfit and high-water pants, it’s now gone. Popcap:

“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.”

The character would almost certainly fall under the protection of parody, but the folks at Popcap are smart enough not to let something so trivial hinder the progress of one of its top games (It’s set to debut on Xbox soon).

So long, Mike.