Diablo Immortal - Stay awhile and play on my mobile

Maybe necromancy only works on the recently dead there. Maybe humidity is really high, and corpses don’t decompose. Maybe they are new to the practice, and can’t keep the bones together without some ligaments still attached. So many lore-based options!

Why are they anti-skeleton there? Insufficient closet space?

You hit on something I was confused about myself. Not knowing anything about Chinese culture aside from its suffocating oppression, I was confused to see the Necro guy wielding a giant bone shield and wearing skulled shoulder pads. I wonder why he can wear bones but not attack or fight alongside them.

From my brief attempt at research, apparently it’s not a blanket taboo or restriction, but it is frowned upon. Why? Apparently it promotes superstition or something, but only if it’s a foreign game publisher? I find it very confusing. Game companies generally avoid skeletons to dodge having any issues with getting past Chinese game censors, and yet there are Chinese game companies that DO show skeletons. shrug Culture.

I find it hilarious that the article I linked refers to “fleshy skeletons”. Aren’t those just zombies?

Thanks for the info. The term ‘zombie’ is copyrighted so they can’t call em that either. So everything is merely ‘full-epidermis challenged’ to keep everyone happy.

Wait, what? Who owns the copyright to ‘zombie’?

Here’s a story about a bunch of copyrighted terms that lost that copyright over time as the word became extremely commonly used. I imagine “zombie” would fall into that category if legally challenged.

Edit: This Quora answer also suggests that Marvel’s copyright on “zombie” ran out in the 90s. Not verified, of course.


Edit 2: And semi-confirmed by this story.


In any case, Marvel’s copyright was only ever for use in comic books.

China doesn’t care about intellectual property copyright.

True dat, but Blizzard wants this game to sell in the west too.

Well, CCP owns most of the west, so, shouldn’t be a problem :-)

Marvel invented the word Zombie? wow

The term comes from Haitian folklore, in which a zombie is a dead body reanimated through various methods, most commonly magic. Modern depictions of the reanimation of the dead do not necessarily involve magic but often invoke science fictional methods such as carriers, radiation, mental diseases, vectors, pathogens, parasites, scientific accidents, etc.[1][2]

The English word “zombie” was first recorded in 1819, in a history of Brazil by the poet Robert Southey, in the form of “zombi”.[3]

So, maybe not, but guess that never stopped a big us company from copyrighting anything :)

Even if the Marvel copyright has run out, no one seems to want to risk a copyright battle which is why almost every zombie show/game/whatever calls them something else… ‘walkers’, ‘zekes’, etc. Terribly silly.

Having just played a game called Zombie Army 4, having recently fought zombies in various other games, and having recently seen several zombie movies, I can categorically state this is not correct! Generally, calling them something else is an element of world building. In Walking Dead, they do it to show that different communities have been isolated from each other since the collapse of civilization, and they’ve had to develop survival tactics separately, which is partly expressed by how they have different names for the zombies. Also, I might be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Walking Dead take place in a universe that doesn’t have zombie movies like the Night of the Living Dead series, so it might not even have the word “zombie”? I could be wrong about that. But Marvel’s trademark is news to me, and as @Menzo pointed out above, it seems the only place this was ever remotely leveraged is was in comic books.

This is important because, as I’ve said elsewhere, zombies are the last mythology that aren’t also an IP. From here on out – Star Wars, Harry Potter, Alien, you name it – any new mythology will be owned by someone.


Not picking on you @Daagar, because many of the articles listed above make this mistake. A copyright and a trademark are two very different types of intellectual property.

A copyright is what you get when you make a creative work. For example, the Harry Potter books are under copyright. That means that I cannot copy them and sell them myself, create and sell derivative works based off of Harry Potter, or create works that are essentially identical e.g. my new novel, Harold Potmaker and the Magical Rock. Copyright protections are strong, and apply to the creative element of a work. Things like individual phrases, recipes, and concepts do not get copyright protection, because they are not treated as “creative works” under the law.

A trademark is a word, phrase, image, etc. (a “mark”) that is used to identify a particular good or service. If you have a trademark, other people cannot use that mark to sells similar products. For example, if I roast some coffee beans, I can call them CF Kane’s Coffee Beans no problem, but if I call them “Starbucks Coffee” or “Caribou Coffee” or “Folger’s Coffee,” I am taking advantages of someone else’s trademark to sell my products. That is illegal, and the owner of the mark can sue me and basically take everything I made from selling “Starbucks Coffee.”

Trademarks need to be defended, and cannot fall into common use. That is why Google and Xerox fight hard against their names becoming verbs to describe using a search engine or making copies. If they are no longer associated with the product, they lose their ability to function as trademarks.

Marvel may well have trademarked zombie, but that probably doesn’t get them very far. Trademarks are generally pretty limited–the test is whether the trademark creates market confusion about who the source of the good is. So if Marvel has a comic book called “Zombie Tales,” and they have a trademark on “Zombie,” it means that some other comics publisher cannot call their book “Zombie Stories.” They can still write stories about zombies, but they are limited in how they market them.

You can search trademarks for free online. I did a quick search for marks containing “Zombie,” and there are 1052 results. If you limit the search to just the word “Zombie,” you get 45 marks, of which 14 or so are currently in active use. Purposes for the mark include hunting lures, “corn-based snack food,” and my favorite “programmable logic controllers that regulate a pneumatic mixing system used to operate municipal and industrial water and wastewater treatment systems.” You can see that search here.

Marvel registered a trademark for “Zombie” in 1973, and the mark was to describe goods and services, specifically “PUBLICATIONS, PARTICULARLY MAGAZINES COMPOSED OF COMIC AND NON-COMIC PICTORIAL AND STORY MATERIAL” (sorry for the caps, cut and pasting from the trademark registration system). The trademark was cancelled at the end of 1996, probably because Marvel was not actively publishing a book with Zombie in the title at that time. You can see it here: http://tmsearch.uspto.gov/bin/showfield?f=doc&state=4801:2arag6.4.1

People use trademark and copyright interchangeably, but they are really different in what they apply to and the types of uses they prohibit.

TL;DR: Marvel had a trademark on the use of the word Zombie to sell comicbooks, but they couldn’t stop anyone from using zombies in their creative works.

Sorry for the lawyer pedantry.

That was awesome and super informative thanks @CF_Kane!!

Very succinctly put. Thanks!

CF Kane Coffee is an awesome name for a coffee brand!

What are we comparing Kane Coffee to? /ducks

My use of Cf. as part of the name is intentional, because I am just that much of a dork. It is both a Citizen Kane reference and a legal citation signaling joke! I am very cool.

That’s the kind of dorkiness I come here for!

No worries - I don’t even play a lawyer on TV, so I use copyright/trademark interchangeably (and thus incorrectly) all the time.

That said, I’m surprised so many things don’t use the word ‘zombie’ then when they clearly are talking about zombies if it is really more free to use than I was thinking. Or maybe it is less things than I think based on Tom’s reply :)