To make things clear at the outset, “Untitled Goose Game” is the title for a game which was released about a month ago for a variety of platforms. It does, indeed, feature a goose. And it was very much not expected to have that title.
In a case of “beware the consequences”, UGG drew attention with its first promotional release. The Australian company behind the video game uploaded a trailer to Youtube as a means of generating interest in their project.
At the time, they’d simply decided to do a humor game featuring a goose. They didn’t know what they were going to call it, though. The small company didn’t want to present their trailer without a title, because it would hinder the very promotional drive behind the upload. They didn’t want to call it “Goose Game” for fear people would think that “Goose Game”, a dry but plausible name for a discount release, was the final title. Inspiration struck and they sent their video to Youtube as “Untitled Goose Game”. That way it would allow people to buzz about the game mechanics on display and would prevent anyone from making the mistake of assuming that to be the actual title.
This is where they were introduced to the ability of people to ignore the obvious.
Buzz did, in fact spread about the game… and continues to spread, as players throughout the world take the role of a disruptive, obnoxious prankster of a goose. There’s no violence or gore, just a large bird waddling around, stealing stuff, knocking things over and generally being annoying.
It’s a bona fide hit, now, across ages, getting writeups in places ranging from gaming magazines to the Washington Post. But it’s not a case of the creators trying to be clever with their game’s name… it’s just that people are far too inclined to infer subtlety no matter how blatant the message.
Question of the night: What do you feel is the most obnoxious animal?