It’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.
Discuss legal action against the dead in the Dread Central forums!