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

Something Amyss

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Grey Carter said:
"One, we need to be successful to make these types of games," he said, "and I think it's important, and I think the cover is a small price for the hardcore gamer to pay."
So...

I mean, I agree on the second point, more or less, but the first. What? Were the last two Bioshocks not successful?
 

MarsProbe

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Dec 13, 2008
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burningdragoon said:
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
Came in the thread just to say this. Seriously. We even have a recent precedent with Mass Effect 3 giving both Sheps a cover.
I recall something similar with Borderlands 2 - on one side you had your required people-with-guns pick, while on the flip side you got something a bit artier. Or I suppose, you buy the collectors edition, which will probably have something a bit more "refined" on the cover. Or the Songbird Edition, if you're feeling particularly flush.
 

Eclipse Dragon

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Treblaine said:
Eclipse Dragon said:
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!
I was only pointing out how many of them followed that formula (using visual examples) yes, the game is about a white guy who shoots things and of course it make's sense that the cover art would show that white guy, shooting things, but that doesn't answer the problem as to why so many of them need to also include explosions, or why the game needs to star a white guy in the first place. If you notice quite a few of them also follow the same composition (guy is in the center with some stuff going on around him) and quite a few of them also have dark hair. There is a visual formula these people are following.
 

MoreThanANoob

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I don't think it would be too hard to find an appropriate middle-ground in the whole art vs appeal thing.
How about this?

Broker and Elizabeth on one of the larger, more open floating islands. They're both standing, damn near terrified, as they witness the start of an apocalypse, taking up the majority of the cover. Buildings with fire and smoke coming out of the windows, people gunning each other down in the streets, flags burning on the flagpoles they're still attached to, Songbirds, Handymen, Boys of Silence and that George Washington animatron thing adding to the chaos. The two characters would only be taking up a small section of the cover near the bottom to free up more space.

It conveys the a good amount of the game's content, (story premise, enemies) and ignorant onlookers will look at it and go "OMGSPLOSHUNS".
 

EHKOS

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I'd love to see a cover of just Columbia, floating in the air. The whole city, from far away. I think that'd look pretty sweet, but I guess you need more for a cover. I was disappointed in this, but hey, it's the cover of a fucking box. I'm just gonna focus on the game now.
 

Ham Blitz

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I know this is only slightly related, but that NeoGaf thread of cover arts posted at the end of the article is amazing. I didn't know such a website existed before today, and now I might have to print some of those.
 

Verkula

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Not sure anyone mentioned it yet, but the original Bioshock will only be available for the US PS3 release, not in EU.
 

JEBWrench

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Huh.

Well, I guess I'm gonna have to be the one to say it.

The box art is awesome, and would make for a sweet poster.
 

roushutsu

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I've said before in another thread about the box art and I'll say it again: even if the image is horribly generic, if it's what works then that's what they'll use. I can't really blame them for resorting to the lone hero image since that's what's popular right now.
 

Smooth Operator

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Got to love the industry defense force, so bloody blind they can't even except facts directly from the devs... I guess it's easier to keep the flamewars burning that way.

But really this is about the same as how Bioshock 1 made it's mark, their entire marketing was about the graphics, they would talk about nothing other then graphics on all their outings because at the time that was the big cheese to sell.
Kept me away for years but numpties were buying it up like mad, so yes it does work, sadly this is the optimal way to make money and quality.
 

Sylveria

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BreakfastMan said:
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."
Wait, then what was the Mass Effect 3 controversy, what with all of it's talk of "artistic integrity", about? I am so confused...

OT: I can see the logic behind what he says, but it is a damn shame we didn't get something more interesting nonetheless. Ah well, here's hoping the game is as good as it is being hyped to be! :D
ME3 wasn't artistic integrity and every-one knows it. It's well documented that the ending of ME3 was scrawled on the back of a napkin by one guy over a weekend who ignored all out-side input then dumped it on the dev team last minute. Them crying "Artistic integrity" was a way to justify their lazy ending without admitting their massive failure.
 

BrionJames

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You know what anyone getting their panties in a twist over this, needs to re-evaluate what makes a game good. Is it the cover art? Of course not. This is the second thread I've seen on here about this. Unless the content of the game has changed, who fucking cares if it's got Stubble-Chin-Shotgunwielder on the cover. It could be a picture of puppy dogs, as long as the core of everything I've read about this game hasn't changed.
 

wetfart

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The more I look at it, the more I think of this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5iTpleCndo

On second thought, a Evil Dead / Bioshock crossover would be awesome! Why is that not being made?
 

Sylveria

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Jonny49 said:
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?
On it's face? Nothing. If there was a choice between turning Bio-shock in to Halo 5 or putting on a box-cover specifically engineered to entice the dumbest, drunkest, side-ways-hat-wearing, frat bros, I think we'd all rather have the box cover. But, I think this is going to backfire. If they go in thinking this is going to be some 'Merica romp over corpses of the brown-race-du-jour, they're going to be disappointed and likely start review-bombing cause they were miss-lead. Or, even worse, they buy it and then start bitching that it needs competitive multi-player.
 

CardinalPiggles

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I can't understand why people would care about what the box art looks like. Much less rage about it. What matters is the game.
 

Sylveria

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BrionJames said:
You know what anyone getting their panties in a twist over this, needs to re-evaluate what makes a game good. Is it the cover art? Of course not. This is the second thread I've seen on here about this. Unless the content of the game has changed, who fucking cares if it's got Stubble-Chin-Shotgunwielder on the cover. It could be a picture of puppy dogs, as long as the core of everything I've read about this game hasn't changed.
CardinalPiggles said:
I can't understand why people would care about what the box art looks like. Much less rage about it. What matters is the game.
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If you can't figure out what I mean, then this cover was made for you.
 

redisforever

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Grey Carter said:
He did mention that 2K will be providing alternate covers that gamers can print off themselves. If you're a fan of beautiful cover art in general, I strongly suggest you get yourself some glossy paper and check out this NeoGaf thread [http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=442713].
Why not do what Resistance 3 did? People complained about all of the logos, and just wanted the image. They made the cover double sided and you could just turn it inside out, and have just the image, no logos except the developer's logo.
 

4RM3D

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People actually still buy games based on (just) box art?

If you are going into a store to pick up a rental copy (game or movie), I could understand you just take a look at whatever the store currently has. But actually buying a game based on just box art? No...