The F.E.A.R. sequel was never announced with a name. The developers instead announced the Name Your Fear contest, in which anybody could submit a name for the next F.E.A.R. Producing over 10,000 entries, the F.E.A.R. team had quite a task on their hands. However, three finalists have finally been selected, described by the team in meticulous detail.
Dead Echo was immediately attractive to the developers because it strongly and concisely captured what we wanted in a name. The term is strong, clear and, from a narrative standpoint, the name fits perfectly with the sequel. In the sequel Alma is dead and the horror and violence set to ensue over the course of the game are echoes and reverberations of her suffering and death. The idea of an echo intrigued us because echoes have the capacity to be eerie and disorienting; it's often difficult to know the origin of an echo. We liked Echo, but thought it was too soft on its own. The addition of the "dead" modifier gives the term teeth and evokes catastrophic emotions. Dead Echo lends itself well to combat action overtones, but also is able to capture a blend of horror and unease.
Project Origin is a strong fan and developer favorite. We received over 400 submissions containing Origin in the name. The second submission of the contest was Project Origin, so we have had the name rattling around in our heads right from the beginning. Project Origin is a natural fit for the title of the sequel because it is the Armacham program from which all of the trouble in the game world originates. The architect of Project Origin, Harlan Wade, used his daughter in a horrific experiment which turned her into the monster that we see in the first game. In the sequel, the repercussions of Project Origin are only beginning to unravel.
The desire to call the game Dark Signal stems from an early storyline concept of the first game. The original fiction of the first game featured a mysterious signal that drew the player-character through the game (this early "signal" concept later evolved into Alma). In the new fiction of the sequel, Dark Signal makes sense because Alma is sending out signals that the player is able to interpret through hallucination and precognition. Replica soldiers have been awoken and are spreading through Auburn in reaction to a mysterious signal. The appropriateness of Dark Signal cannot be entirely explained because the concept is closely tied to some of the mysteries of the story that we don't want to spoil.
Head over to the Name Your Fear website and vote for your favorite entry.