The gaming industry is relatively young, with few companies still around today that began earlier than the 1980s. Even the ones that did, like Atari, have gone through several evolutions after bankruptcies, mergers, and acquisitions.
Being younger, companies have had the opportunity to be more creative with their naming than in industries like energy and retail that have names like United Oil & Gas and Marks & Spencer.
Here are some of the best names in the gaming industry.
Throughout the 1990s and into the 2000s, almost all computers looked the same. They were big bulky boxes and almost always came in beige. While in the early years of this design aesthetic, the beige color seemed futuristic but this perception changed very quickly as people began to tire of it.
Alienware was founded in 1996, at the height of this beige box bonanza, and quickly set itself apart. The name was inspired by the founders’ love of The X-Files and was used for the theming of the company’s products.
Although its early machines, like THE AREA51 and THE GREY, were still beige boxes, they quickly moved away from this. From 2000, Alienware customers could buy their computers in colors like “Saucer Silver”, “Conspiracy Blue”, and “Martian Red”.
From 2003 onwards, Alienware machines began to look like Aliens themselves, with curved cases that were pierced with gills and fins. This is something that has lived on in the company’s products, even after its acquisition by Dell, which remains a popular place to buy laptops.
PokerStars is one of the biggest brands in online poker. Founded in 2001, the company operates in dozens of markets thanks to holding licenses from regulators in around nine European jurisdictions, as well as two US states.
Ever since its inception, PokerStars has offered flexibility to its customers with both real money and play money games. For much of the last decade, it has also allowed them to access its services from smartphones and tablets, making poker accessible to millions of people around the world.
The company lives up to its name by recruiting a number of “poker stars” to work as its ambassadors. Known as “Team PokerStars”, these ambassadors currently include former World Series of Poker winner Chris Moneymaker and the successful Indian player Muskan Sethi.
Electronic Arts is a well-known publisher of video games. It’s somewhat controversial though, with some gamers disliking its titles and inclusion of microtransactions. With that said, if you’re a gamer, you will almost certainly have owned at least one EA title in your life.
The company was founded in 1982 by a former employee of Apple. Its name came from the fact that it described its programmers and game designers as “software artists”. It initially worked to publish the work of other developers but began all the work itself from the late 1980s.
Some gamers would argue that is moved away from its “artist” roots with more recent titles that are similar to previous releases with minor, iterative upgrades.
Grand Theft Auto
Grand Theft Auto is one of the biggest video game franchises in history. The latest release, Grand Theft Auto V, is the second-best-selling video game of all time, behind only Minecraft.
The game has come a long way since its early versions back in 1999 that had top-down perspectives and 2D graphics.
In early development, the game had a different name: “Race ‘N’ Chase”. It was never released to the public, but leaked screenshots show a game that resembles the original GTA game.
The name “grand theft auto” is the legal name applied to the theft of a motor vehicle in the United States. Officially, it’s defined as the “unauthorized taking…with the intent to permanently deprive the owner…” of their vehicle – which is exactly what you’re doing on screen.
This makes it an apt name for the video game since a large part of it is based on the hijacking and stealing of cars, bikes, planes, helicopters, and other vehicles.