Two Word Game Company – Mistakes to Avoid Picking a Game Company Name
After over a year of searching for a game company name, I decided to keep it simple and pick something a bit more normal than the average game company. Everyone I know was sick of me asking them, “Is this a good game company name?” Spending so much time on this, I learned a lot about what is important behind a company name, when you need one, and common mistakes that are made in the process. What’s funny is that this process took me so long and I let myself think of this as a barrier to moving forward, yet the company name means so little compared to the product at the indie stage.
Mistake #1: Try to be clever
It’s really tempting to be clever when picking a game company name. This is especially true once you start searching and find almost everything is taken.
“If only I could come up with something nerdy clever and geek relevant, then people will think the name is cool and like me.”
Here’s my opinion of that statement. One of the funniest articles I read was about a video game created in 2002 called Shadow Man: 2econd Coming. The critic continued to review the game, but first mentioned a blatantly hilarious critique of the name choice. He said, “2econd Coming, more like 2tupid name, 2tupid game.” Needless to say Acclaim was trying to be clever. If they were promoting the game they would say, “Shadow Man: 2econd Coming… with a 2 instead of an S” and they would sound like morons and still have issues getting traction from any publicity.
There is nothing wrong with being organically creative as this may help you find a memorable name. Just don’t try too hard to be clever.
Mistake #2: Forget to bring your closest circles with
Take a look at where you are as a person and a professional. Pick a company name that reflect’s that. If you’re trying to make it as an indie then use your real name, and maybe even incorporate it into your company name. The last thing that you want to do is ask friends and family to support your cause that they cannot relate with. They don’t always have to relate to the content, but they should always be able to relate back to you the project creator.
Mistake #3: Pick something somebody else wants
Because I was asking friends for input on a Game Company Name, it’s natural that they also gave me their recommendations. Some of these recommendations will pull on your inside joke heart strings. This may be extremely tempting but I guarantee that you’ll end up regretting the decision. For me the name that was a friend favorite was “Fig Town Studios”. This name had a lot of history with friends and had been on the burner for quite a while but just didn’t quite hit home.
It’s not bad to pick a name that engages friends but you also don’t want to be peer pressured into something that doesn’t fulfill your goals. For me, it was a huge miss that “Fig Town Studios” didn’t spell out the intent of the company. It was going to be an SEO winner, but SEO is not the sole reason for choosing a name.
Mistake #4: Not doing your SEO homework
If you’re familiar with creating websites and SEO that’s great. However there are some things you need to be aware of that are more gaming industry, product creation, and Kickstarter relevant. The obvious one is to make sure that any of your product, brands, or company names are open to use. Check them for trademark infringement here. Just because somebody else is using a trademarked name, it doesn’t mean that you are excluded from using this. A trademark search will tell you if somebody is using that exact name, and what products they’re using it to cover. You can have the same name and trademark it on a different category of products with a different brand logo. If you find something that you consider a grey area, another company might also see it that way so it’ s better to avoid any potential legal issues with trademarks. This can totally burn you later if you’re not careful.
You also want to ensure that all your domain and social media ideas check out before finalizing on a company name. There are some great domain and social media name checking sites available to make this process much quicker. I used a free website called knowem that is quick and accurate at checking both domain and social media. It turns out that Social Media names are more difficult to find untouched than domains. This isn’t a huge deal if everything checks out except a twitter handle. It’s perfectly okay to take a modified or shortened version of your longer title as you’ll also score points for brevity in the world of social.
You don’t want to choose a company name on SEO alone, but definitely run a Google search before selecting a name to see what else pops up. Your idea may not be taken but avoid names that pull up potential confusion that may be rising from Flash Games or sites. You’re not going to get a lot of search traffic for a company name until you’re big player, so shoot for low search traffic on your company name as a keyword as a safe starting point.
Mistake #5: Taking the shotgun approach
The absolute worst thing you can do is bury yourself inside the internet by choosing to represent yourself with a fragmented approach online. If you want to have the best chance at capturing repeat customers, then you should have a well thought out strategy. Here are a few questions you should answer before creating name.
- What your immediate goal with this company? What is your long term goal?
- Are you planning on making multiple projects?
- Are your projects going to be inside a one industry or product category?
A product name should describe the product and a company name should describe what your company does. If you have an opportunity to be laser focused here, then you can take the “Cards Against Humanity” approach and name your company the same thing as your product. This isn’t right for everybody but it’s not a bad place to start.
What not do do:
- Company Name: Two Word Games
- Product Line: Scribble with Friends
- Site: 2wordGames.com
- FB: fb/ScribbleGame
- Twitter: @DoubleWordCompany
It’s also smart to think about phonetics. Two Word Games sounds like Toward, Toured, Too Weird… way too hard to decipher if you’re telling people about your stuff.
When you need a Game Company Name?
For the gaming industry, a product name is much more important than a company name. I would also argue that a personal brand is more important than a product name if you’re indie. People want to connect with people, not companies.
If you’re at the point where you see yourself producing and shipping a product soon, then having a Company Name will avoid you a lot of rework with bank accounts, shipping info, and tax info. This is also good practice as it will allow you to retain customers onto future projects simply by maintaining your company name.