This Was The Generation Of Increasingly Silly Game Names

This Was The Generation Of Increasingly Silly Game Names

Look, video game names have always been a little silly. And likely always will be. But this past console generation saw the emergence of a new kind of silly, one that graduated from “harmless fun” to “facepalm”.

I’m talking about the concept of taking standard naming conventions and throwing them out the window. I’m talking miscapitalised titles. Game names with numbers replacing letters. Games with acronyms that aren’t really acronyms, they’re just ways of getting around trademarks. And other crimes against not only grammar, but common human decency.

This Was The Generation Of Increasingly Silly Game Names

Here is a hall of shame. Not of games with bad names. Tales of Graces F and Warface, you have silly names, but you at least used capital letters correctly. The games below did not. They are the shameful ones. Shame!

DiRT – Dirt. It’s Dirt.

inFAMOUS – So he was…inFAMOUS? Unfamous?

F.E.A.R. – Nice try, guys. First Encounter Assault Recon. Rolls off the tongue.


THI4F – The original title for the Thief reboot. So bad that even the studio realised it needed to be changed, later dialling it back to just “Thief”.

RAGE – Didn’t need the all-caps, id. Wasn’t really a game to shout about. OK, that was mean. I quite liked it! But still. Rage would have been just fine.

M.A.G. – OK, so this – which stood for “Massive Action Game” – doesn’t technically count, since that’s a proper acronym. But it was such a stupid name I’m putting it here anyway.

WATCH_DOGS – Like Thief, it debuted during the current generation and is destined for current-gen hardware, so it counts. Caps and an underscore? Oh my.

SPLIT/SECOND – That’s not what a forward slash is for.

This Was The Generation Of Increasingly Silly Game Names

Last-Gen Heroes is Kotaku’s look back at the seventh generation of console gaming. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, we’ll be celebrating the Heroes — and the Zeroes — of the last eight years of console video gaming.


      • Yeah that’s what I was going to say. In Infamous, you can be either a good guy or a bad guy…Famous or Infamous. It’s actually a clever logo design, and anyone that doesn’t have the intelligence of a gnat should be able to see that.

        Another quality article my Mr. Plunkett.

  • inFamous is fine, because in the logo, there is a literally a silhouette of a person inside the Famous portion of the text. It would be accurate to say that this silhouette is in Famous

    This is also really poor logic and you should disregard it immediately.

    • Exactly, it’s actually a pretty darn good logo once you realise this. And I believe someone here already highlighted the fact that Kotaku is written in all caps.

      So in summary, this article isn’t worth the Internetz it was written on.

  • In terms of purely ridiculous game names, I’m giving the prize to Metal Gear Rising Revengeance.


  • The point of the unconventional capitalisation in ‘inFamous’ is to emphasise the word ‘famous’ along with ‘infamous,’ hinting at the player’s choice between fame and infamy.

    • It’s almost as if you and I have a higher-than-two-year-old analytical intelligence!

      The title styling was pretty bloody obvious. Author is reaching hard to find fault.

    • Yep i can’t believe that went over some peoples heads. It was a very deliberate and clever use of the words relating to your choices in the game.

  • WATCH_DOGS is a good one. Considering its all about hacking and digital lives, the reference to a public global field is quite applicable.

  • If we’re ignoring naming conventions: Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days

    I don’t even know how to pronounce it properly (well OK, I do now because I looked it up… but I shouldn’t have to do that for a title!)

    • The title makes complete sense in the context of the game though. And besides, there is no shame in looking up an explanation of something when it comes to Kingdom Hearts

    • Theatrythm Final Fantasy: Curtain Call


      Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance


      Devil May Cry: DMC

  • What really rustles my jimmies is when games have a name so generic that its really difficult to google them. ie I had a hell of a time tracking down a copy of the RTS/FPS “Machines” for PC.

    Edit: Google algorithms seem to return the right result now, but back in 2000 it was nigh impossible.

    • I noticed the google improvement recently, too, when I was trying to track down an 80s cartoon, based on the elements and characters in it. 5-10yrs ago? No dice. A couple months ago? Winnah.

      • Fun Fact: If you actually type ‘Luke Plunkett’ into google the first suggestion that comes up reads ‘Luke Plunkett is a tool’.

  • My favourite of this generation is DmC: Devil May Cry.Here are some fictional equivalent examples. UC: Uncharted, H3:Halo 3, AC:Assassins Creed. It’s a very silly name.

  • Game names have always been bad, but a lot of those are down to poor translations (ie. Donkey Kong) but some are just bad mistakes. Movies have suffered from these kind of poor decisions too. A good game will speak for itself though.

  • There’s a special degree of hypocrisy needed, I think, for a site like Kotaku to complain about the capitalisation and styling of titles and logos. I mean, you guys still use Title Case For All Your Articles Even Though It Makes Some Titles Completely Confusing, and your own logo for ‘Last-Gen Zeroes’ is written in all-lowercase – yet you’re complaining about RAGE being written in all-caps.

    Wouldn’t you agree, … (looks at byline) … LUKE PLUNKETT?

    • Camel case is normal thing to do for heading really. Particularly relevant/vital when it comes to coding.

      • Camel case is for compound words (and is relevant in programming, as you say), this site uses title case, also known as start case. It’s a relic of newspaper days, more sites opt for sentence case in titles these days. It vastly improves readability on screens and removes a lot of ambiguity. There have been several occasions in the past where Kotaku’s choice of headline style has caused confusion (including several comments from readers to that effect) and they’ve vaguely hinted that it might be something baked into their system that they can’t change.

  • I don’t mind replacing a letter with a number in the name, even though the trick has been done to death already, but I’d want them to make sense at least when it’s done. F3AR was clever enough as the 3 is a good enough E, but THI4F was lazy as shit. I mean, THIAF?! In what world does that work?? You’re just forcing a square peg into a round hole guys.

    • Also, I vastly prefer that if they’re going to register or trademark this shit, we don’t have to see the things catalogued as ‘g4m3 n4m3’, but just make it Game Name 43 in the catalogue and let the marketing tools have their little bit of fun, but just tell them, “That’s not what we’re actually calling it, by the way. We’re just letting you do that on the ads because it looks cute. But putting the sequel number into the title is just fucking stupid. You know that, right?”

      That way people can actually find what the hell they’re looking for in digital shopfronts, and not have the order of their libraries all fucked up because some genius thought it’d be edgy and cool to fuck about with the letters in the title.

      • That’s basically how I like to think about it; that the number-in-place-of-letter is just a stylistic thing while the actual name has the number at the end. But as a stylistic element, it’s still pretty lame (assuming the publisher isn’t marketing the game exclusively to people living in the 90s).

  • My problem with inFamous, is that famous and infamous are not polar opposites though that is what they’re going for.

    Famous: Well known.
    Infamous: Well known for bad things.

    Famous does not imply “good things”. Just well known.

  • Using periods in between letters for acronyms in a game title rustles my jimmies. It slows down my typing speed, dammit! I am too lazy to dot after every damn letter, I just wanna refer to something. We don’t do it with government departments, why do it with game titles?

    I’ll tell you why. Graphic designers. Curse you fuckers. You’re responsible for this! For ALL of this!

  • Being a tad ridiculous. Thought you were picking at game names, not font or logo decisions.

    In which case inFAMOUS is perfectly understandable given that you can choose to be famous for either positive or negative reasons.
    I still think RAGE is fine, even more so as this comes from the developer of DOOM.
    WATCH_DOGS? Again, it’s a logo. Everyone knows it’s Watch Dogs.

    If you’re picking silly names, why not Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, or Sims 3 Katy Perry Special Edition? Those are actual names, not merely the way in which the company has decided to present the title in a graphical format.

  • Well he missed S.T.A.L.K.E.R which was one of the worst offenders in the “Its not even an acronym” category but I guess it might be old enough to not count. Same with Driv3r I suppose

  • Wow, what a brainless article, most of those names had nothing wrong with them and not once did I see any explanation as to why they were bad apart from generic indirect sarcasm such as “it’s dirt” and the classic, haughty, “really, developer?” Who runs this website, a bunch of hipsters?

  • Wow. You do know that “infamous” is an actual word, right? Meaning famous but for bad reasons? Considering the two paths that you can take Cole down, writing the title as “inFAMOUS” is quite creative. I find it funny that it was the first entry in your piece, it makes us readers blatantly aware that you have an IQ of a two-year-old.

  • Erm “infamous” is an actual word.
    I think what they were trying to get at is that you can either be infamous or famous since you could be good or bad in the game.

    So, no, not silly.

  • Stop me if I’m wrong, but pretty sure infamous is an actual word

    1. having an extremely bad reputation: an infamous city.
    2. deserving of or causing an evil reputation; shamefully malign; detestable: an infamous deed.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!