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Dead Rising escapes Romero lawsuit

Capcom title not a Dawn of the Dead rip-off, rules judge

Dead Rising has been let off the hook after a judge dismissed claims that the game's plot and setting infringes on the admittedly similar Dawn of the Dead films.

The game was pulled up by MKR earlier this year for allegedly taking the premise of people trapped in a mall rammed with flesh-eating zombies from the George A. Romero flick.

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It also cited other similarities, including the rural location of the mall, certain shops and set pieces within the game, the use of weapons such as propane tanks and chainsaws, the journalist lead character and even the plaid shirts worn by the zombies.

Judge Richard Seeborg, however, focused on the differences. "The mood of Dawn of the Dead is dark, horrific, but somewhat comedic in featuring the main characters struggling to survive for months in the mall," he said.

"The mood of Dead Rising, on the other hand, is one of adventure and mystery as Frank [West, Dead Rising's lead character] tries to uncover the secret behind the zombie infestation of the town.

"In short, Dawn of the Dead endeavors to create an atmosphere of suspense and anxiety while the videogame focuses on action and competition," the judge added (via Edge-Online).

Seeborg also cited the 1984 case Litchfield vs. Spielberg (for similarities between play Lokey from Maldemar and film E.T: The Extraterrestrial), which ruled "'random similarities scattered throughout the works' do not support a finding of substantial similarity." This, he ruled, applied to the Dead Rising Case.

Lucky escape there, we reckon.

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