Yesterday, Grim posted an article
about Black Rock Studios saying that the racing genre is dying. I don't disagree, but I can offer an idea as to one of the possible reasons behind it.
See that image above? Four different racing games, developed by three different studios. One features ATVs. One revolves around rally racing. One has more traditional street racing. One has not been released yet. The problem? I had to look up all of that information, because off the top of my head, they are all indistinguishable
from one another.
Somebody, somewhere though it'd be a good idea to give a racing game a curt, four letter title. It's short, it's uncomplicated, and it'll stick in the consumers' minds. Unless, I don't know, all the other racing games out there do the exact same thing.
What's worse is that most of them don't really imply racing, and half of them don't really make sense at all. Fuel
, I'll concede, makes some sense. It takes fuel to drive a car. Got it. DiRT
makes sense if you already know the game is about rally racing, and the box art conveys that just fine, but the title itself could easily be on an ant simulator. But Pure
could mean anything. Grid
might actually be the worst of the bunch; as it conjures an image of a slow-paced strategy game, rather than the street racing actually involved.
When I think of non-Mario Kart
racing games, the two that come to mind first are Project Gotham Racing
and Forza Motorsport
. Now, I can't say much for how much sense either of those two titles make (Project Gotham
had me thinking I'd be driving the Batmobile and I don't even know what a Forza
is), but at least they let me know what I'm getting into. Racing. Motorsports. All right, got it. And more importantly, the titles can't be confused with one another, or with anything else.
So my message to racing game developers is this: please stop with the single-word four-letter titles for your games. I have already ignored these four and I lump them all together in my brain despite that they are all presumably different from one another. What about you guys, have you gotten any of these confused?