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Dead Rising Vs. Dawn of the Dead

Dead Rising vs. Dawn of the DeadIt’s been a long time coming. It’s something I expected to happen a while ago, but Capcom’s zombie epic has finally caught the attention of the MKR group (those that own the copyright to Romero’s Dead films) and New Line Cinema, and they appear to be very close to taking legal action.

Dead Rising was and is a wet dream for fans of the zombie genre as it gives horror fans something they’ve wanted in a game since gaming existed: the chance to live out the fantasy of being in a mall during a zombie outbreak. There’s no question that Dawn of the Dead is the inspiration behind the title, but it’s also fair to say that the similarities pretty much end with zombies in a mall.

So the question is, is the concept of Dead Rising close enough to the concept of Dawn of the Dead for MKR and New Line Cinema to have a case against Capcom? Capcom placed a disclaimer on every copy of Dead Rising to state that it had nothing to do with Dawn, but whether that will help them or be seen as some kind of admission is yet to be seen.

Capcom has filed an action to get a court ruling to state that “humans battling zombies in a shopping mall” is an unprotectable idea and that other similarities are trivial or random. You can read the court document over on the Hollywood Reporter who broke the story. We’ll see if this prevents MKR and New Line from taking action.

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Johnny Butane

  • Undeadmin

    i hardly see it as a rip off. aside from taking place in a mall which would be considered an homage, the story lines are different. the setup is different, the objective of the characters is different.

  • Sirand

    It’s a rip-off for sure, but you can’t hold copyright on a mall.

  • Chainsaw

    If they sue Capcom for that, can we file a class-action lawsuit against MKR for whoring out all of George’s movies for godawful remakes?

    At least Dead Rising is quality stuff.

  • frank_dracman

    Agreed. The story is so far removed from Dawn of the Dead.The one and only similarity is the location. But it’s an idea, a setting. you can’t copyright or protect that. If that’s the case, we would never see a ghost in a creepy house movie or game again.

  • Kryten Syxx

    It’s no rip off. Unless DAWN or the remake of it contained a plot involving mind-control cults; bees turning people into zombies; chainsaw weilding clowns; government conspiracies to name a few.

    Odd that MKR waited years after the game’s release to start a lawsuit. Either way, it won’t matter since Dead Rising is in such mass circulation.

  • Outlaw Torn

    Think they’ll sue the makers of Waxwork 2 next?

  • Terminal

    If they had to put a disclaimer, someone noticed it was shockingly close to the concept of “Dawn,” so it’s an inadvertent admission. However, I have never played the game so I won’t claim it’s a rip off. This will be interesting to see unfold.