In a world where Google shapes everything, determining whether or not information is readily available to the average person based on key search terms, changing the name of a product or service can be a huge move. In some cases it can help, because moving away from working titles and establishing definitive ones, such as The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom finally getting its official name after years of Nintendo calling it “The sequel to Breath of the Wild” helps solidify its identity and gives us more definitive ways to talk about it. Then we have a name change like what just happened with The Lords of the Fallen, the sequel to 2014’s Lords of the Fallen. The sequel is dropping the first “The” in its title, making it—that’s right—Lords of the Fallen, the exact same name as the original game.
The name change was officially put into effect during a GDC technical showcase video which breaks down some of the advanced graphical aspects of the game running on Unreal Engine 5, as opposed to developer Hexworks’ proprietary engine.
There’s some pretty neat stuff on the tech side, such as the way armor sets adapt to the player’s slider-based body type, and how the game seamlessly swaps between its two parallel worlds. But alongside all of that, the name has changed to the same one the original game used almost a decade ago. With that much distance between the two, it likely doesn’t matter that the two games share a title.
The initial title difference felt evocative of the recent Suicide Squad and The Suicide Squad movies, so perhaps more companies are getting comfortable with dropping typical naming conventions for a sequel that makes a hard divide between games with a number or subtitle. The 2018 God of War and 2013 Tomb Raider turned out okay and didn’t deal with too many branding problems. Normally this kind of reverting back to the original name works as signifying something as a reboot, and maybe with that much distance between the original, Lords of the Fallen (2023) slots into that territory, even though its first name didn’t really convey that it was part of a series.
Lords of the Fallen is set to come to PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S in 2023.