Ken Levine on BioShock Infinite's Bro-Tastic Cover Art

Me55enger

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Levine has a solid point, and he is one of the few people in the industry whose solid points are really worth anything.

But yeah, if they were looking to hit every cliche in the book, they did so well they had to write the sequel themselves just to carry on.

Anybody who has been following the development of this game will know that the box art does not make the game, and therefore will be capable of ignoring the cheapness of this marketing tactic.
 

bafrali

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FelixG said:
bafrali said:
Why stop there 2K? You could always put Elizabeth in a bikini besides him. Why not add a cigar in his mouth while we are at it? You might wanna add some blood there too. It looks lifeless this way.And why use weak flares when you can set the fucking cover on fire?

You know what this guy needs? A minigun.
You forgot, you have to put both Elizabeth AND songbird in bikinis to either side of him.

Gotta have two bikini clad folk for proper box art
Absolutely ingenious. If a giant bikini wearing metal bird doesn't catch eyes, I don't know what will. Are you from the future by any chance?
 

Squilookle

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Grey Carter said:
He did mention that 2K will be providing alternate covers that gamers can print off themselves.
Oh well as far as I'm concerned, all is forgiven. The only thing better would be a more artistic reversible cover printed on the other side, but hey- they have the alternative, and that's good enough.
 

Tanis

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I don't mind it, though I'm betting a lot of 'bro gamers' will be PISSED after they pop in the game and realize it's not one of 'their' games

:p
 

Vault101

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RicoADF said:
Vault101 said:
So your going to condem someone for being cautious on how they spend $150, well if your like to throw your money away go ahead.
no, I'm only condeming people for rejecting games for some arbitrairy reason like boxart


[quote/]To answer the questions, no I haven't been keeping up with the latest news/trailers, I work and when I have free time I play games rather than waste the limited free time I have looking at trailers. I also have a backlog of games to catch up on, so theres no hurry to get the latest Bioshock anyway.
What I was trying to say, but your clearly too busy trying to find an excuse to flame people, is that box art does influence people and to say it has no effect or influence is either lieing, or coming from someone who has already played the series alot and follows it religiously thus the box art means nothing to them.[/quote]
yeah it influences some people, seemingly people buying on a whim who don;t know what Bioshock is

all you have to do is read a reveiw when the game comes out...thats it, boxart doesnt have to be a factor
 

Vault101

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Tanis said:
I don't mind it, though I'm betting a lot of 'bro gamers' will be PISSED after they pop in the game and realize it's not one of 'their' games

:p
aside from the pose itself I don;t see how a "bro gamer" could look at this and think "modern military shooter" part of the reason people are over reacting
 

Fasckira

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Oct 22, 2009
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Was wondering, "No Elizabeth?" then recalled that dev who went on the big QQ fit about everyone gawking at her awesome cleavage. Ah well.

Never really been too concerned about box art tbh. If I was to impulse-buy a game that I hadn't heard of off the shelf it'd be by reviewing the back of the game for any information and screenshots rather than the front artwork.
 

Quellist

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Oct 7, 2010
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IamLEAM1983 said:
Print two covers on a single sheet. Don't like Bro-oker DeWitt looking all forlorn and badass? Flip it over. There ya go: Elisabeth and Songbird or Columbia's majestic vistas or whatever else feels arbitrarily more evocative or artistically relevant.

Done. Also, /thread
/thread indeed, I was going to say exactly this. Two covers=problem solved
 

1337mokro

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Haven't bought a box in a LONG time. Sure I order them online but only after seeing the game on a site, being lured in by the marketing, etc. etc.

I don't really like the cover, especially because it was designed to lure in frat boys, which I find kind of insulting. It's a really American way of box cover design that also annoys me. The same thing happened to ICO, we had abstract art work painted by the director himself in Europe and Japan, Characters Face in America.

For the sales it really mattered! The cover in America with a boy holding a sword sold MUCH MUCH WORSE!!!

So the idea that a frat boy will be lured over by a character on the box cover, then flip it over to see more of the game really doesn't hold that much water when you actually look at an example. It also insults the intelligence of the customers "The only way we could get their attention was with bland generic coverart, what do you want us to do? Make an eye catching cover that will draw in people in general?" It worked for Bioshock didn't it? A new IP with no name value?

Bioshock Infinite has name value attached to it and with increasingly digital sales boxcover art will slowly start to matter less and less. So really, all this is is just a bland box cover that people (including myself) are getting WAY to heated over.

I will buy it digitally so I don't have to look at the cover on my shelf, problem solved.
 

Jonny49

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Sylveria said:
As much as I want to condemn this decision... I can't. There's been more than a few times that the cover of a game has caught my eye because it was relevent to my interests and caused me to look at it. Conversely, as someone who couldn't be less interested in dude-bro shooters, this cover wouldn't warrant a second glance, let alone a closer inspection. But, this industry is ruled by the whims of the dude-bros, sadly. I miss the days when gaming was just for the nerds and artistic integrity wasn't so readily sacrificed to bring in "the main-stream."
While I'm not a fan of the box-art, what's wrong with wanting more people to play your game? He wants more people to play Bioshock, people who might have otherwise turned it down. Granted, I'm not sure how big an influence box-art has on sales numbers, but isn't it better to risk the integrity of the box-art than the integrity of the game itself?
 

Subatomic

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I'm somehow reminded of Ubisoft changing the box art of one of the Settlers games from the European original to something "better suited for the American market":

 

Eclipse Dragon

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Grey Carter said:
LtFerret said:
Um, quick question. Where are people getting this silly notion that any previous Bioshock's box art was good? They were pretty generic as well. "big daddy is about to punch you" and "Delta glares at you." This is par for the course.
You can argue that their layouts great, but I don't think you can argue that the covers aren't distinctive. How many games can you name with a giant in a diving suit carrying a little girl on the cover? How many you name on which a white man holds a gun and stares off into the middle distance while something explodes/catches fire?
I have to look now...
A Google image search for "Video game box art" pulled up all these. Although they don't necessarily have something exploding in the background, I feel they're still similar...

All characters with the exception of Cole are holding guns. All characters are male and at least 7 are white. The remaining are too covered in dramatic lighting to tell; Master Chief is wearing a helmet. Socom 4 has three white guys holding guns.


Edit: In my search I also stumbled upon this [http://venturebeat.com/2012/07/15/you-cant-un-see-these-11-video-game-box-art-cliches/]. Apparently somebody broke down the cliches even more. This site gives an example of how many do have explosions in the background, as well as a few others.
 

Mr Cwtchy

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It's almost like a team of very talented artists decided to lump together as many clichés as possible to attract the dew-guzzling, frat-goblins who make up the bulk of the modern shooter audience.
I know modern shooter fans are considered 'acceptable targets' here, but this is still a rather douchey thing to say.

OT: To be honest I don't really care about cover art. If changing the style gets the game more sales, I'm not really seeing a problem with it.
 

Treblaine

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Porecomesis said:
Is it not simply possible to do both? I mean, the original Bioshock's cover was interesting enough to attract such a large audience and make Bioshock Infinite possible in the first place. The original Bioshock's cover managed to convey what you were in for if you bought the game.
Did it do well? Compared to the likes of GTA4 or Mass Effect 2 or Skyrim which had similar metascores at least, bioshock did not do as comparatively well. The cover arts was likely only a small part of that, though.

And did the cover art of Bioshock REALLY tell you about the game? Or did it just corroborate what you already knew from other sources that most others had not read or seen.
 

Paradoxrifts

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I'm more shocked that people are shocked by the idea that the creative team behind the original Bioshock are more interested in creating what is essentially interactive propaganda than creating a game for the sake of a game. I thought that it was quite blatantly clear that the first game set out to do what it could to install a second asshole into the Libertarian philosophy, and this time round it looks a lot like they're going to take a baseball bat to the knee caps of the tea party movement.

It'd be a waste of perfectly good propaganda not to try and sneak it into the game collections of otherwise unaware fraternity types.
 

Treblaine

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Eclipse Dragon said:
All characters with the exception of Cole are holding guns. All characters are male and at least 7 are white. The remaining are too covered in dramatic lighting to tell; Master Chief is wearing a helmet. Socom 4 has three white guys holding guns.

The problem is not the cover art, the problem is the fact that these games ARE ABOUT men using guns, or some other sort of gameplay weapon as in the case of Cole with his lightning powers.

And Bioshock Infinite is about a man using guns. It's not portal, it's not about a (Hispanic?) woman solving puzzles with wormholes, it's about a white man shooting people.

For the cover art to show anything else... that's wishful thinking manifesting as false advertising.

If you don't want to play a game about white guys shooting people, then it's helpful that the box art tells you which games these are.

What cover art would you actually propose for a game like COD4? And NOT the cover art of the game you WISH that COD4 was, but for the game COD4 actually is, and don't take the piss, it has to both make the game look good and be true to what it IS!
 

Lionsfan

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You know what really turns me off that cover? It's not the grizzled old hero, or the "'Murica!", or even the Zeppelin.

No what really bothers me is how much other crap they have on there. It's not just the game cover and the System, it's "Only Available on PlayStation!" "PlayStation Move Compatible!" "Includes the Original Bioshock!!" To me all that's worse than having a generic cover