Something I talk about with friends when planning and sharing our projects & media we like is titles - and specifically my disdain for one-word titles. They seem to be more than dominant in multiple entertainment industries. Twilight, Injustice, Negation, Absolver, Bastion, Braid, Dishonored, Destiny, Anthem, Fallout, Inside, Crawl, Us, Psycho, Memento, Inception, Jaws, and a thousand others I can't remember.
Those are all good or notable ones, though, but i meet a lot of students writing stories and games who seem very excited to share that their new jumping game will be called "Jump" and their new climbing game will be called "Climb" and their new coming-of-age-novella will be called "Park".
This is obviously not an objective truth and I wouldn't assert as such, but in my opinion, one word titles are incredibly non-expressive. With the exception of made-up or very unusual words, like SUPERHOT or Westworld.
A one-word title with a vague word that encompasses your stories themes, like "Want" or "Stream" or "Condemned" might be apt, but isn't expressive. The people to whom the front cover of your book matters don't know why "Want" is relevant or interesting, and they're unlikely to feel anything at all out of the ordinary when they see the title. Sure, a title can just be a handle. It doesn't have to be interesting.. but why wouldn't you make it interesting, if you can?
Especially when writing games, choosing a title that doesn't stand out can make all the difference in whether or you game gets noticed or doesn't. Names I love and that people readily click on sound more like: What We Lost In The Flood, o_AbyssalSomewhere, There Will Be Blood, Things Fall Apart, The Unbearable Lightness Of Being, Please, Don't Touch Anything, Telling Lies, Hypnospace Outlaw, etc.
A good enough title can be interesting enough to express the whole or the essential parts of a work's tone and setting, and encapsulate its themes far more than a single, vague word can.
Having said all that, I appear to be at least partially wrong - high budget projects keep choosing one-word titles over and over again, and I'd be shocked if those decisions were not well-researched. One explanation might be that a project with a great deal of marketing can gain more from the ease of saying one word, or how well the one word fits in headlines, how catchy or punchy that one word might be, without suffering the consequences of choosing a name that doesn't stand out on its own. Or maybe a large project whose goal is having the largest audience possible is better off with a vague title that excludes as few people as possible.
So, what is the reasoning? Are there known studies about the appeal of one-word titles compared to longer ones? Is there a pattern you can see among successful works with and without one-word names?
P.S. I know I have a strong bias towards/interest in games in this post, but I think this trend applies to all kinds of media. I hope you find game writing to be relevant to Writing Stack Exchange and that you find this question interesting. Thanks! ^ ^