Many have wondered about just where the name “Diep.io” comes from, as “Diep” is a seemingly random word with no clear meaning, unlike other games such as Agar.io (agar is used to cultivate biological growths like the blobs in-game). Some have theorized it originates from the Dieppe Raid during World War II, given that tanks were a key part in it. But why would the developer name a game about polygons and circles shooting each other primarily after a failed Allied invasion?
However, there is an alternative and more likely explanation, and it has to do with the history of the game itself — or more specifically, its roots in a classic Flash game: , released in 2011 and followed up with a sequel shortly after. This simple game featured a basic tank who had to dodge bullets and destroy enemies, much like the current .io game but in a single-player format.
M28 (Agar.io) = Zeach (Diep.io)
The credits for this game include a name that some of you may be familiar with: Matheus aka M28 aka Zeach aka the creator of Diep.io. He would later go on to create the wildly successful game Agar.io, and following that success, he likely returned to an old flash game he helped make: Diepix. For more confirmation that Matheus, the creator of Agar.io, and Zeach are one and the same, the catalogue of .io games directly linked in Diep.io,, directly implies that both Diep.io and Agar.io are developed by M28.
This info gives a lot of insight into the background for diep.io, but what does this have to do with the name? Well, there’s that “ix” at the end of Diepix, which calls into question the validity of the name originating from Dieppe. Where does the name actually come from then? This is a hypothesis, but I believe it is simply a portmanteau of the words “Die” (referring to the game’s survival nature) and “Pix[el]” (referring to its status as a video game). From this origin, it's easy to infer that the name “Diep.io” simply came from replacing the last two letters of the original name (DiepIX) with the .io suffix. Therefore, if this is true it means Diep really means nothing on its own — it is simply a chopped-up vestige of the game’s Flash game origins.
Not all shooter games must harken back to historical tanks and battles — some, like Diep.io, are simply a continuation of good ol’ Flash games; a world of simple (if at times banal) amusement for virtually anyone. At their core, .io games are merely a continuation of that, and Diep.io is a great example.
P.S. If Diepix is the origin for the name Diep.io, and is truly formed from the words “Die” and “Pixel” as seems probable, then we finally know the correct pronunciation of Diep: not “Die-ehp” or “Deep”, but “Die-puh”. (ew)
P.P.S. I considered leaving a link to the first announcement of Agar.io as it could provide further information about Matheus and the game’s development, but the post is located on 4chan and my laptop mysteriously opened several malware links and one pornography site shortly after viewing. Never go on 4chan kids.
P.P.P.S. Apparently, a news article does seem to confirm some of the info in this blog: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=13268012
However, Zeach states that the name “Diepix” simply came out of nowhere. This may be true, but it’s still possible that the name came out of the words “Die” and “Pixel”, just without that meaning specifically in mind.