What’s in a name? Rather a lot! Whether you are trying to think of a name for your studio, IP or individual game, creating a good name can be a difficult thing to do. Sadly, we can’t help you with thinking up new names (unless you get in touch, then we are happy to!), but we can give you a list of boxes that your name should tick. So let’s get right down to it!
Perhaps the most obvious quality that your name needs is to be unique. The more unique your name is, the easier you will be for people to find. A quick search for available domain names or available company names (UK example) is a good start, but you can also extend this to Twitter names and a good old Google search.
A huge amount of promoting a game is about getting people’s attention. Does your name stand out from the crowd and give your target audience a quick, positive impression? Your name will most likely be placed next to others, so make sure you stand the best chance of getting noticed.
It’s great if you have caught someones’ eye, but you need to also stay in their mind. Your name needs to be one that is easy for people to remember so make sure that it isn’t too complicated.
There’s no point in giving your studio/game a name that quite simply doesn’t suit it. Think about your elevator pitch and what makes your game unique. Any name ideas that don’t support this in some way should be thrown out.
Do you want to know more? This point is less important than the others, but it’s brilliant if you can get at least a bit of this factor into the mix. Some names automatically make you go, “huh?” and that can be very powerful. Building that level of intrigue so your target audience wants to learn more about your studio/game.
Easy to say, read and hear
I would expect that if people can’t read your name then you would automatically change it. On the other hand, a lot of people pick names that people find difficult to pronounce. For example, there used to be a TV show on in the UK called, ‘Blind Date’ which used to annoy me. The reason for this was due to the first word ending in the same letter as the second began with (‘D’). As a result, the words didn’t flow and so most people would end up saying, ‘Bline Date’. A good test for this is pretending to phone someone up and introducing yourself. “Hi, this is [your name] from [your studio name].” If you think you might need to repeat or even spell out the name out for the person on the other end of the line it may be worth having a rethink.
Make sure that your name doesn’t limit you in the future. For example, calling your studio, ‘Mobile Touch Softworks’ will be a bit of a hinderance of you decide to start making games for XBLA. Make sure that your name gives you space to grow.
Creating names can be a lot of fun, but you can also find yourself get quickly attached to something. Before you get set on one, make sure you check each of these factors. Let us know what clever names you come up with, or get in touch if you’d like to bounce some ideas off us!