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What's in a Name: Epicenter Studios

Justin McElroy

Epicenter is the studio that currently holds the title for "2009 Game That By All External Signs Should Have Been Awful, But Is Actually Pretty Fun" for its Real Heroes: Firefighter. To reward the company prematurely, we've decided to tell you exactly how it got it's name.

A few years ago, Epicenter co-founder Nathaniel McClure and I were at a friend's house in the San Fernando Valley, just north of Los Angeles, brainstorming a name for the game studio we were just starting up. Now, naming things is actually a pretty difficult process filled with ups (coming up with an absolutely killer name that will destroy the industry as we know it) and downs (finding out it's already been taken by someone who likes to create flash games based on Creed videos). After coming to the bitter realization that just about any good name we agreed on was already taken, we sulked in our chairs in silence. That's when the walls started to rattle.

Even after living in California for nearly 10 years, you still don't get used to a solid earthquake. As the adrenaline starts to flow, you tend to make internal guesses whether you should continue sitting there stoically or jump under the nearest table. Our good friend Kekoa, under the nearest table, wondered where we thought the epicenter of the quake was since it felt so close. Nathaniel and I looked at each other, realizing it was as good a name as any, especially considering we were just a few miles from the epicenter of Los Angeles' last big quake in Northridge. Epicenter Studios finally had a name.

Brian Jury
Epicenter studios co-founder

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