有时由于各种原因，在发展过程中游戏名称不再适合游戏。著名独立游戏开发商Demruth、Dejobaan Games和Vblank Entertainment都面临游戏名称问题，他们都在不同时期做出艰难决定：给游戏重新命名。
若独立开发者已获得一定曝光度，重新给游戏命名无异于扼杀品牌。但若目的依然是制作杰出游戏，那么获得《nintendopower》封面报道，嵌入《Portal 2》ARG（置换实境游戏），在Freeplay Independent Games Festival等大会获得各种奖项，或受到PAX 10推荐等这些情况都能确保开发商在更改作品名称的情况下保留自己的知名度。
但有时曝光度会受到严重削弱。除上述三家开发公司的事例外，Over the Top Games也在项目即将发行前几天更改其名称。虽然随后的Steam和iOS版本让《Icarian》再次崛起，但开发商永远无法知晓这一突然转变所造成的销量和曝光损失。
Demruth放弃“Hazard: The Journey of Life”
独立工作室Demruth负责人Alexander Bruce表示，其别具一格的“心理探索游戏”《Hazard: The Journey of Life》“是个更新内容，游戏并非其原本面貌”。
Bruce觉得很少有人会认真考虑给项目重新命名。他得感谢独立开发同伴Saltsman（《屋顶狂》）、Jonathan Blow（《时空幻境》）和Jason Rohrer（《Sleep is Death》），他们提出许多合理观点，说明寻找合适名字的重要性。Bruce表示，“当我觉得自己找到某些合适选择时，他们就会告诉我为什么这些不是恰当名称。”
Bruce在用户游戏展会PAX 10用的是“Antichamber”，当时游戏还未进行正式更名。“当我被告知作品是大会获胜者时，更改游戏名称就变成当务之急。”参与PAX 10之类的活动有助于游戏名称的过渡，尤其会后的系列详细报道。
开发商Dejobaan希望其新作名称富含趣味，具有描述性，能够引起关注。但游戏的最初命名是《ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO!: Grab a Loop and Mix a Beat》，这似乎有所欠缺。Studio总裁Ichiro Lambe表示，“‘ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO!: Grab a Loop and Mix a Beat’与《AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!!–A Reckless Disregard for Gravity》（游戏邦注：工作室前款游戏的名称）太过相似。‘OOO!’不够有描述性（没有混合心跳）。”
Lambe想要更有趣的内容，游戏名称随后正式变成“1… 2… 3… KICK IT!（Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby）。”他陈述其中包含的不科学运作过程。他表示，“讨人厌的婴儿非常有趣！谁有讨人厌的婴儿？没有人有！所有婴儿都很漂亮。除‘Kick It’s baby’外，哪个讨人厌？”
Lambe表示，Dejobaan还试图将此游戏同Valve Software获得较高病毒式传播的游戏《Portal 2》ARG绑定，“将这款新游戏扩散至成千上万用户群中。”
游戏名称的诞生颇为顺利：虽然名称中的“kick it”已产生好几天，但Dejobaan创意咨询顾问Alicia Fontaine随后才添上“Drop that beat like a baby”。Dejobaan玩法和故事设计师Dan Brainerd认为，讨人厌的婴儿更滑稽，“Drop that beat like an ugly baby”就这样口头诞生。后来便确定下来。
其实算是部分确定。Lambe表示，“大家依然将游戏称作‘Ooo!’，有人还以为我们有款叫做‘Ooo!’的游戏，后来又制作‘Kick It’，是翻版‘Ooo!’，所以我们给人的感觉是只会一招。但其实自从我们持续以‘Kick It’名称现身后，这便不再是问题。”
谈及此时修改名称是否会过迟，Lambe觉得“Alex Bruce曾戏谈更名最晚限度——大家都只知道《Antichamber》更名前的‘Hazard: The Journey of Brucing Out’，这款游戏得过很多奖。所以当大家听到‘Antichamber’时并不知道这其实和《Hazard: The Journey of Brucing Out》是同款游戏。”
独立开发者Brian Provinciano在2008年底的Independent Games Festival盛会上将其Xbox Live Arcade和WiiWare游戏《City Rampage》的早期版本称作“Retro Theftendo”。但这只是他就此名称进行的唯一一次推广，后来他对游戏名称做出最终调整，且在2010年初夏的《Nintendo Power》进行公开发布。
Provinciano表示，“我依然不是100%确定游戏名称，但杂志要开始印刷，首次亮相《Nintendo Power》是个绝佳机会，这是孩子们梦寐以求的事情！”他采用《Retro City Rampage》参加大会（游戏邦注：这是他进行投票表决的结果）。
在《Retro Theftendo》前，Provinciano曾开发一款不同但相似的游戏《Grand Theftendo》。“《Retro》是款完全不同的游戏，就像大家说的，我从许多方面拉开二者的距离。”二者品质不同；“Retro”的规模和品质是“Grand”的300倍。《Grand Theftendo》是款非正式自制游戏，其借鉴《侠盗猎车手》IP，而《Retro》则是原生作品。
Provinciano如何最终将名称确定为“Retro City Rampage”，“我不能再用‘-tendo’，我觉得最好还是将其同‘前辈’《Grand Theftendo》区分开来。”虽然他觉得同行业巨头任天堂抗争不是没有胜算，但这对其而言没有价值。他表示，“但这还有其他方面的考虑，其他掌机设备也许也不希望发行名称带有‘tendo’的作品。”
Over the Top的受限“Icarian”
即使开展再多营销，开发商Over the Top也难以从容应对游戏《Icarian》入驻WiiWare 2天前所进行的突然调整。Over the Top总裁Roberto Alvarez de Lara表示，“我们收到某位产品名称与之类似的开发商的终止要求。两款游戏具有各自不同市场，存在不同价值，但二者名称的发音相似。”
为配合WiiWare的最后发布期限，Over the Top只好迅速决定进行重新命名。“我们在游戏名称上具有许多选择。第一个是‘Nyx’，但我们害怕有人再次要求我们修改。其他选择包括‘The Quest of Nyx’和‘caryx’，由于我们希望推出其他游戏系列，所以‘Nyx Tales’和‘Nyx Travels’也在考虑之内。”
In-Depth: When the Name Of The Game Changes
by John Polson
Sometimes, for various reasons, a game can outgrow its title during the course of development. Notable indie game developers Demruth, Dejobaan Games and Vblank Entertainment all faced game name issues, and at different points in time made the difficult decision to rename their games.
When indies finally receive spotlight coverage, it may seem like brand suicide to rename a well-known game, and potentially lose their following. However, if the focus remains on making a remarkable game, events such as a Nintendo Power cover story, a Portal 2 ARG (alternate reality game) inclusion, winning multiple awards at conferences such as the Freeplay Independent Games Festival, or being featured at PAX 10 can help a developer retain that spotlight, even post-name change.
But sometimes that spotlight crucially fades. In addition to the tales of three above indies, Over the Top Games recollected having to rename its project merely days before distribution. Though a future Steam and iOS would help give Icarian back its wings, the developer will never know the extent of loss sales and coverage from the sudden change.
Demruth Avoids Hazard: The Journey of Life
Alexander Bruce, the man behind indie developer Demruth, told Gamasutra that his unique “psychological exploration game” Hazard: The Journey of Life was “born out of iteration, and it isn’t the same as what it once was.”
But the focus of his game changed since 2009, when he first named it Hazard. With huge amounts of thought going into every detail of the game, he felt it was wrong to leave the name something he chose for lack of time or forethought. “Some people will say that not having the right name doesn’t matter, but I think that that is a different issue to having the wrong name.”
Bruce said that it is generally hard to find people who cared enough to have a serious discussion about renaming his project. He has to thank fellow indies Adam Saltsman (Canabalt), Jonathan Blow (Braid), and Jason Rohrer (Sleep is Death) for providing rational arguments as to why finding the right name mattered. “When I thought I was getting close with a few, they’d tell me all the reasons why it wasn’t the right name,” Bruce said.
He felt an increasing pressure to change his game’s name with each upcoming public event in which he entered the game. Towards the end of March 2011, the process of seriously changing the name began. Within a week he was calling his game — in which players move room to room to complete truly mind-bending puzzles — “Antechamber”. Bruce later refined that to Antichamber.
When Bruce had a name that he thought worked well, he randomly asked other designers for their opinions, and when it was working well with other indies, he asked random people who’d never heard about the game what they thought. “Antechamber worked better when I said it than when people read it, because they were hearing me say ‘anti-chamber.’ So I changed the spelling accordingly to gain that immediacy in text.”
Bruce actually entered major consumer gaming show PAX 10 as Antichamber, before the change officially occurred. “When I was notified that I was one of the winners, changing the name immediately shot straight to the top of the priority list.” Having something like the PAX 10 helps with the transition, especially all of the write ups that happen after the show.
Once he was sure of the name, he sought advice from other developers about how to go about the change. Some said to do it as soon as possible; others said to make sure the trademark is clear. “I didn’t want to announce the change without any other resources like the website, logo, and new screenshots, because I felt that they would make it more impactful as far as getting press about the change was concerned.”
Bruce was fascinated by the “cut-throat” subject of game names among developers. “You’re trying to work out who the right people to listen to are, and a bunch of insults get thrown around the place. Statements like ‘Don’t listen to them. They named their game X!’ or ‘I think things worked for them in spite of the name they chose.’ It was frustrating at the time, as I was trying to get clear answers, but it was pretty amusing reading all those conversations again later on.”
Dejobaan Loses Its OOO!
Developer Dejobaan wanted its newest title to be interesting, descriptive, and remarkable. But that title’s first iteration — “ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO!: Grab a Loop and Mix a Beat” — seemed to be lacking. Studio president Ichiro Lambe elaborated, “‘ooo! ooO! oOO! OOO!: Grab a Loop and Mix a Beat’ was too close to [the studio's previous game] AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! — A Reckless Disregard for Gravity (which was originally called ‘Low Altitude’). [OOO!] wasn’t descriptive (there was no mixing of beats), and also sounded like an orgasm simulator.”
Lambe wanted something more fun, and the name of the game officially became “1… 2… 3… KICK IT! (Drop That Beat Like an Ugly Baby).” He explained the decidedly unscientific process. “Ugly babies are funny! Who has an ugly baby? Nobody does! All babies are beautiful. Except Kick It’s baby, which is ugly,” he said.
And Dejobaan also managed to tie the game to Valve Software’s highly-viral Portal 2 ARG and “got the [new] name out to untold bazillions of people,” Lambe said.
The birth of the name wasn’t too painful: While the “kick it” part of the name existed for several days, Dejobaan’s creative consultant Alicia Fontaine added, “Drop that beat like a baby.” Dejobaan’s gameplay and narrative designer Dan Brainerd mentioned that ugly babies are funnier, and that “Drop that beat like an ugly baby” flows when spoken. It was settled.
Well, mostly settled. “People still call the game Ooo!,” said Lambe, “and some actually think that we created a game called Ooo!, and are making another game called Kick It, which is a rip off of Ooo!, so we seem like a one-trick pony. But really, since we keep hitting everyone with Kick It, it’s not a problem.”
When asked how problematic multiple name changes would be, Lambe said that more than three changes turns it into a game of its own. “A name without a product won’t get us anywhere. [After a change], you pretty much have to move onto more important things (like making the actual game).”
Asked if it’s ever too late to rename, Lambe thought that “Alex Bruce totally flirted with the bounds of changing late — everyone knew Antichamber as Hazard: The Journey of Brucing Out, which has won many, many awards. So, people who hear Antichamber may not realize that it’s the same delicious game.”
As for it ever being too early for an indie to change the name of the game: “If you’re worrying about it at prototype, you’re not focusing on the right thing. At the very least, the game will outgrow the name by the time you’re done with it.”
While outgrowing a name is an option, Lambe said naming appropriately is more effective. “I’ve given talks where I ask the audience, ‘So, who here knows our game about BASE jumping?’, and everyone will scream ‘Aaaaa!’. Great brand recognition there.”
Vblank Dismisses Retro Theftendo
Indie developer Brian Provinciano submitted an early build of Xbox Live Arcade and WiiWare game Retro City Rampage to the Independent Games Festival in late 2008 as Retro Theftendo, which was the first public announcement of the project. However, that was the only push he made with that name before the final change before its announcement in Nintendo Power in early Summer 2010.
Provinciano reflected, “I still wasn’t 100 percent settled on the name, but the magazine had to go to press and debuting in Nintendo Power was an incredible opportunity, something kids dream about!” He went with Retro City Rampage, which the majority of people he asked had voted on.
Along with Retro Theftendo, Provinciano had developed a different but similar game: Grand Theftendo. “Being a completely different game, others had mentioned I might want to distance myself from that for a number of reasons.” The quality differed; “Retro” is about 300 times that game in size — and quality. And “Grand Theftendo” was an unofficial homebrew game that plays on the Grand Theft Auto IP, whereas Retro is completely original.
As for how Provinciano settled upon Retro City Rampage, “I couldn’t use ‘-tendo,’ and I decided it was good to distance things from ancestor Grand Theftendo.” While he felt it would not be an impossible fight against industry giant Nintendo, it wasn’t worth it for him. “There were also concerns, though, that the other consoles may not want to publish a game with -tendo in the title, either,” he said.
Along with pondering the name change, he mocked up logos, bought domain names as soon as he liked a name, and generally “wasted way more time” than he should have. Whereas Dejobaan felt naming was important, Provinciano slightly disagrees. “It’s more about just marketing the heck out of the game itself and the name will stick in people’s minds.”
Over the Top’s Clipped Icarian Wings
No amount of marketing could have prepared developer Over the Top for the sudden change its game Icarian faced, just two days before its release on WiiWare. Over the Top director Roberto Alvarez de Lara recalled, “We received a Cease and Desist from another developer with a game with a similar name. We believe both games had very different markets and different meanings, but it was similar phonetically.”
de Lara decided to change Icarian to NyxQuest to avoid further legal hassle. “Up to this day I strongly believe that there was really no reason for the [legal] action and that our game didn’t break any trademark or could be confused with the other, but being a new developer that spent all their resources on the development, we didn’t have an option just two days from the release. We needed this game to be released to survive.”
To keep the WiiWare deadline, Over the Top had to think quickly about renaming. “We had a lot of options for game names. The first option was just ‘Nyx,’ but we were very scared to be asked again to change it. Other options were ‘The Quest of Nyx,’ ‘Icaryx,’ and since this game is intended as part of a series, ‘Nyx Tales’ and ‘Nyx Travels.’”
The team even resorted to using Google to assure that it was not already in use. “That is the reason for the game to be called NyxQuest. We searched for it, and we got no matches… we had a winner.”
NyxQuest eventually found a wider audience on iOS and Steam. However, de Lara lamented that they will never know the real impact the name change had on WiiWare sales. “I think it certainly affected negatively, as we had a lot of good previews on renowned magazines and websites. We made a few front pages and the awareness of the game was very good.”
The sudden change became one of the most stressful moments of his life as he felt all his work at risk. However, de Lara said, “the important thing is to be positive that the game was released and that players enjoyed it.”
As for what others can do to avoid the hassle, de Lara suggested to do research before choosing the final name of the game. However, he said that other companies can still menace to sue if the name is even somewhat similar. Ultimately, he feels “there is nothing you can do against that, but be prepared and not very attached to a name.”（Source：gamasutra）