Zenimax was hit with a lawsuit last week over its use of a song in a two-year-old Fallout 4 trailer. Turns out the singer thought his music shouldn’t be used over violent imagery — or, at least, that he should have been paid more if it was.
According to court documents revealed by Polygon, 60s pop star Dion DiMucci didn’t like his hit song “The Wanderer” used in Fallout 4 commercials, due to their objectionable content. Quoth his lawyers:
Without Plaintiff’s consent, Defendants dubbed The Wanderer into commercials in which the protagonist,a wanderer, roams from one location to the next, armed and hunting for victims to slaughter. Defendant’s Commercials have no redeeming value, they simply entice young people to buy a videogame by glorifying homicide, making the infliction of harm appear appealing, if not also satisfying.
The same court papers say Dion wouldn’t have objected to the use of his music had the ads been used to convey “the story of a post-apocalyptic struggle for survival without craven violence,” or if ZeniMax had given him “adequate compensation” for the negative association.
Here’s the thing: unless other ads have been taken down in the year or so since I last watched Fallout 4 ads, the song was only used in one commercial. Specifically, this commercial:
In case you can’t watch it, it’s the protagonist exploring what remains after the nuclear apocalypse. It’s mostly lingering shots both of the world before and after the nukes, serving to highlight how tragically different the world became.
Is he carrying a gun? Yes. Does he shoot it? Yes — at a bug and a Super Mutant (irradiated human gone insane). Neither of those occasions could really be called “slaughter,” since the Super Mutant is a) shooting back, and b) still alive by the end of the trailer. It’s a very tame portrayal of “post-apocalyptic struggle for survival,” so I’m not sure what Dion wants here.
Wait, he’s seeking damages in excess of $1 million. Never mind — I think I know what he wants.