Of all the different things that have to come together for a video game to exist and prosper on the open market, the title may be one of the most overlooked. Miles of yarn have been spun discussing how gameplay mechanics came together, how teams were assembled, or how some pesky bugs ultimately become iconic features. As important as all the production elements involved with making a game are, a good title can make or break a project. A Twitter thread from Chandana Ekanayake of OuterLoop Games spawn an interesting discussion on when various games were bestowed their final titles.
The original Tweet from Ekanayake mentions that Monday Night Combat was titled a year before release and Falcon Age was christened just six months before release.
I’m curious game devs, how long does it take to come up with your game title? For me, let’s see Monday Night Combat was a year before release, Falcon Age was six months before release, new project name was 3 years ago (which never happens!)— Chandana Ekanayake (@Ekanaut) March 29, 2021
Philip Tibitoski of Young Horses disclosed that Octodad’s title was set in stone from the very genesis of the project and that Bugsnax was settled on within the first week. The Grumpus-filled adventure was called Snacksects Paradise for a brief time prior to this.
Adam Brommell of System Era spoke about the various titles Astroneer carried early in its development cycle. He explained that he and System Era co-founder Paul Pepera had settled on calling the protagonists astroneers early on, but the game carried titles like Astro and Exo at various points in the project’s lifecycle.
In one of the other cool stories, former LucasArts developer Bret Mogilefsky revealed that Grim Fandango was always intended to be a working title for the landmark adventure game, but by the time it came for release, the team had grown so used to it that the name stuck. Prior to Grim Fandango, the project was referred to as “Tim’s Dead Game”.
Chris Jarrard posted a new article, Devs are revealing the origins of their game's titles on Twitter
This is charming. To me these games always seemed to have fitting names, so it's fascinating to hear the alternatives.