The Stories Behind The Names of 15 Gaming Brands You Know

I’m an avid gamer, and I’ve devoted a bulk of my time in my bedroom playing games without giving a single thought to what goes behind the doors of the many players in the gaming industry, apart from what games they are releasing next. Inspired by earlier behind-the-name stories here on the site, this time we are going to look into the stories behind big names in the gaming industry.

Some of these names might not be familiar to you but their games were probably part of your childhood. Read on to find out how these brands in the gaming industry got their names.

Find other Behind The Name stories:


In 2001, when Microsoft’s software of interface programming (Direct X) was ruling the market; the developers of the company wanted a graphical hardware called “DirectX Box”.

They consequently named it XBox.



If you haven’t figured out the etymology of SEGA, just split it in Service Games.

That’s how it originated.


Konami is the portmanteau of the three creators of the first games from the company: Kagemasa Kozuki, Yoshinobu Nakama and Tatsuo Miyasako.

Only Kozuki, 73 still serves on the board.


The founders named their arcade gaming machines CAPsule COMputers, the shorter version became CAPCOM.



When it seemed like almost all the gaming companies had names related to Japanese phrases, UBISOFT originated differently.

They picked the following French word: Union des Bretons Ind├ępendants plus SOFTware.



The name is an acronym of the Japanese phrase: Shin Nihon Kikaku which means “New Japan Project.”



Former engineers decided to name it Wii because the two characters (ii) nicely symbolize the gathering of two individuals playing together.

Wii also sounds like “We”.



Hasbro is actually the shortened version of ‘Hassenfield Brothers’, the three brothers who founded the toy company responsible for Transformers and Monopoly.


The name Nintendo are three Japanese characters that roughly translates to “leave fate to the heavens.”

The name was coined in 1933 and has so far stood the test of times.



Zynga was named after the CEO’s late American bulldog, Zinga (which explains the dog in the logo).


GaiKai is Japanese for large open space which basically means you can go in any direction, anywhere

A perfect concept for cloud gaming.

Square Enix

Square, the game developer, was founded on a Japanese island named Shikoku, whish sounded very similar to Shikaku – Square.

Enix was a play between the name of the bird which rises from the ashes, the Phoenix and the world’s first computer, the ENIAC.

After the merger in 2003, the two former rivals became one, Square Enix.

NAMCO Bandai

NAMCO got its name from the abbreviation of Nakamura Amusement Machine Manufacturing Company, which operated children rides’ on the roofs of department stores. The company bought Atari in 1985.

The founder of Bandai, Naoharu Yamashina was inspired by a Chinese phrase: Bandai Fueki which means “eternally unchanging.”

The two merged into one in 2006.