Plants vs Zombies forced to remove Michael Jackson lookalike zombie

One of the cartoony undead creatures attacking your house in the hit casual game Plants vs Zombieslooked nearly identical to Michael Jackson fromhis Thriller music video. Amidst a variety of zombies decorated with football uniforms, inflatable duck rafts, and construction cone hats, he wanted only to dance and groove andbreak into your house to eat your bone marrow.

But that's all past tense now. Apparently Michael Jackson's family didn't like the fact that one of the coolest zombies in the game bore a striking resemblance to the late pop star. And they've done something about it.

In a statement issued to MTV'sMultiplayerblog, the game's publisher Popcap said, in part, "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.'"

A new update to the iPhone version of the game,drastically changes the look of the "Dancing Zombie." The update will be making its way to all other versions of Plants vs Zombies shortly.

Above: The fine text reads, "Any resemblance between Dancing Zombie and persons living or dead is purely coincidental." Butit probably isn't really.

It is unfortunate to see one of the best zombies in the game taken out, but we do kind ofunderstand why Jackson's family doesn't like seeing the recently deceased Michael portrayed as a living dead creature. To be fair to Popcap, Plants vs Zombies was originally released on May 5, 2009, about a month and a half before Jackson's unexpected death, so the zombie's design was intended more as a tribute than a bad joke.

However, in memoriam of the Dancing Zombie, and of the King of Pop himself, at least we'll always have this awesome music video:

Jul 27, 2010

Plants vs. Zombies announced for XBLA, co-op and versus achievements revealed
Xbox LIVE version of Plants vs. Zombies to release this September

iPhone Game of the Day: Plants vs. Zombies
... and possibly game of the year for this tower-defence masterclass

Is Plants vs. Zombies 2 coming soon?
Suggestive subject line in email from PopCap says “PsssssPvZssssst... save the date!”