Video game titles come from the strangest places

Picture: Shutterstock / nhungboon

What is in a name?

That is the question Mike Rose, founder of publisher No Longer Robots, needed the game creators of Twitter. “How can you name your game?” he asked. “Was it hard to decide, or did it just come to you?”

The Monday morning tweet prompted dozens of responses, offering insight into a key piece of the development procedure for games big and small. Unsurprisingly, the truth of how games get their titles varies tremendously.  

It may be accidental or purposeful. Messy or neat. Inspired or resigned. And, actually, everything in between. There’s a story behind each game, along with the naming procedure is part of the story — although not always a key part. Keep this in mind while you read through the responses to Rose’s tweet.

Rock Band

One half of the Big 2 opponents when rhythm games were still a major thing from the late Aughts. The very first one to deliver a simulated complete band experience.

Guitar Hero: Metallica

This was among several Guitar Hero spin-offs to surface as publishers — in this scenario, Activision — looked for fresh and exciting methods to convince rhythm game fans to invest in new games instead of building out their song libraries from older ones.


A combined cooking mystery game famous for its magical presentation, wacky situations, and satisfying gameplay.


Among the very first, true mobile game hits and possibly the most memorable and successful early case of the “endless runner” genre.

Axiom Verge

A gorgeously lo-fi “Metroidvania” adventure that rewards exploration and skillful play with an assortment of weapons, tools, and power-ups.

The 7th Guest

Together with Myst, among the original CD-ROM games. A horror-themed puzzle/adventure game comprising live-action performances along with also an engrossing (if absurd) story.

80 Days

An excellent, mold-breaking adventure game based on Jules Verne’s classic book, Round the World in Eighty Days.


A zombie survival game that began life as a mod for a different game, ArmA 3. DayZ stands out from the pack for depositing players right into a gigantic, shared open world area that’s full of both undead and IRL individual dangers.

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