10 Video Game Origins You Never Knew

Kratos has Edward Norton to thank.

god of war american history x

The man-hours that go into creating even a totally mediocre video game cannot be understated, but making something that truly speaks to players and captures their hearts and minds? That's a miracle of both ingenuity and intense, all-consuming perseverance.

Yet as wonderfully unique and artful as the greatest video games undeniably are, many of them have also been inspired by both other media and the world around us - often in the most unexpected and eyebrow-raising of ways.

Whether cribbing their iconic title from a Hollywood one-liner, mining personal tragedy for their art, or using their own technical limitations to their sneaky advantage, these 10 games all came to be because of some hugely peculiar and surprising origin stories.

It just goes to show that no great art is ever the result of a perfectly laid plan executed flawlessly: over and over again, inspiration tends to emerge from unpredictable places, often as a result of artists pivoting to meet incredible challenges.

If you thought these 10 games all came together in the most effortless and ordinary of ways, you need to think again...

10. Doom Got Its Name From A Tom Cruise Movie

god of war american history x
iD Software & Touchstone Pictures

Doom is one of the most influential video games of all time, an impossibly important first-person shooter which paved the way for every other entry into the genre that followed.

Beyond the ultra-tight, satisfying gameplay, though, it also benefitted from that elegantly simple title, which immediately conveyed the tone of the game in one snappy, imposing word.

But designers John Carmack and John Romero didn't come up with the name by just leafing though a thesaurus: they were inspired one night while watching a certain Tom Cruise movie.

The film was none other than Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning hit The Color of Money, and the particular scene which spawned Doom's moniker involved Cruise's Vincent Lauria ominously referring to his custom pool cue as "doom" to an inquisitive opponent.

And like that a brand was born, with Romero quickly getting to work on the game's press release before Carmack had even completed a rough build of it.

In this post: 
God of War
First Posted On: 

Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.