Rejected Game Titles

We’ve talked a little in the past about all the tinkering and refining and polishing that’s needed to make a great PopCap game. But something people don’t think much about is: game titles are worked on quite a lot, too. They’re an important part of the game.

Don’t believe me? Would you play Zuma if it were called “Amphibious Ballshooter”? Well, okay, maybe that’s a bad example.

You may be aware that Bejeweled was originally called Diamond Mine, way back in 2000. But did you know we once wanted to call Plants vs. Zombies “Lawn of the Dead”? We decided George Romero (or at least his lawyers) wouldn’t like that too much.

Here’s a list of some other title ideas that didn’t make the cut — and some that I wish we could’ve tried. Because why not?

Thunderball – Yep. This was a Thor-themed prototype of Peggle
Pego – Too close to another game brand, perhaps? You decide. But we had to change the name just weeks before the game release. That was fun!

Plants vs. Zombies
Lawn of the Dead
Bloom & Doom – In the game, this is the seed packet company’s name
Zombotany – Not easy to say or read, but people at PopCap liked it enough that it became a mini-game title

Venice — the only game I know of starring an unmanned gondola!
Sinking City
Better than Milan
Extreme Gondola!
Gondolamania (And why not? I mean, we already had Rocket Mania and Talismania… why not Gondolamania?)

Mystery P.I. – The Lottery Ticket
Mystery P.I. – The Curious Case of the Hidden Reality
Mystery P.I. – Have You Seen My Pants?

Enter the Frog
Fancy Frog and the Frightening Four (no, not really)

Gold-Maker (exciting, isn’t it?)
Solid Gold Prancer

And finally, our old mobile game, Mars Needs Cows, likely had lots of bad title ideas. But we don’t remember any of them. So, we think it may have originally been titled Interrupting Cow.

Okay, I’ll stop there, before I Interrupting Cow.

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