PopCap's 'Lawn of the Dead' and other game names that never were

lawn of the dead
lawn of the dead

PopCap is arguably one of the most universally known casual game developers. If you haven't heard of Bejeweled or Plants vs. Zombies, then you, well, you should be ashamed. OK, maybe that's too harsh – you should get informed, and fast. Those games – along with a handful of others – are some of the biggest call brands in the casual games universe.

At a press lunch at Casual Connect in Seattle, PopCap Creative Director Jason Kapalka tells me that these game names – like most names – weren't necessarily their first choice.

Plants vs. Zombies, for instance, was originally titled 'Lawn of the Dead,' a nod to George Romero's classic zombie film, 'Dawn of the Dead. ' Apparently, the Romero camp wasn't in the mood to play along, so the game ended up with the name Plants vs. Zombies, or PvZ for those in the know.

The match-three game Bejeweled was originally going to be called, simply, Diamond Mine -- not exactly the most compelling name. Eventually it was changed to Bejeweled, even though it didn't go over well with everyone at PopCap. "It reminded me of 'Bedazzled,' that movie starring Liz Hurley and Brendan Frasier," says Kapalka.

Originally published