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

anthony87

New member
Aug 13, 2009
3,727
0
0
"Bro-tastic"?
"Bro-Gamers"?

What the fuck do those terms even mean? And the box art? It's fine, no more generic than Bioshock 1 with its "IMMA PUNCH YOU!" Big Daddy. People really just like moaning about things nowadays don't they?
 

Scow2

New member
Aug 3, 2009
801
0
0
4RM3D said:
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...
Rentals and second-hand sales are quite lucrative for game developers, even if they don't like to admit it.
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.
It tells you what the game's about.

And honestly, I think this cover works, especially with the Steampunk aesthetic. I'm getting really sick of the "Dudebro" bashing in this thread. I'm willing to bet there are a lot of even hardcore gamers that have passed on a title they know nothing about because the box-art didn't catch their attention.


Box art alone is not enough to sell a game, but for the VAST majority of games, it's the strongest advertising point. The overproliferation of advertisements in our society has caused consumers to outright ignore and reject them out-of-hand without another source backing them up.
 

BrionJames

New member
Jul 8, 2009
540
0
0
Sylveria said:
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.
I read your post and I know exactly what you mean. I too grew up with video games, where it was just a niche thing. You can thank greed for inviting in the uninitiated. Video games (as are movies) are a business first and an art form second. Publishers will always do whatever they think will net them more profits, thus, you will continue to see video games go down this road towards mass appeal. Sure, there will still be good games out there, but your going to have to accept the fact that the lowest common denominator determine how things are marketed and, unfortunately, what content there will be. This is why things like Kickstarter are so exciting, because it gives developers who want to do something outside the box, the opportunity to appeal to people like us, to help fund it. Until then get off your high horse and go complain about something important.
 

Morbira

New member
Nov 28, 2009
67
0
0
I think the most troubling thing about this article is the fact that game developers are now starting to define the "mainstream" as an offensive stereotype. Why in the world would you market to such a niche audience in an age where video games are becoming a cultural standard? Do we really want to feel as though games are being targeted at the lowest common denominator?

And yes, box art is important to a game in the sense of aesthetics. A game can still be good without the art, but if the box art conveys something that resonates with the themes and visual motifs of the product, the experience as a whole benefits.
 

PsychedelicDiamond

Wild at Heart and weird on top
Legacy
Apr 4, 2020
1,606
298
88
Call me ignorant but i don't care for a games cover at all. I mean, it's not like i frame them and hang them on my wall.
 

4RM3D

New member
May 10, 2011
1,738
0
0
Scow2 said:
Rentals and second-hand sales are quite lucrative for game developers, even if they don't like to admit it.
It is? Don't publishers hate second-hand sales because of the loss of profit? Minus DLCs, maybe.
 

Frostbite3789

New member
Jul 12, 2010
1,778
0
0
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."
That's the thing. This cover is the opposite of that. This looks so thoroughly generic it's off-putting. It looks like Generic Shooter #223423. But it doesn't look like it'd draw in the CoD crowd. The more I see of this game, the more I feel like it's going to be a huge disappointment. Putting in that call now.
 

Fwee

New member
Sep 23, 2009
806
0
0
Frat Guy:
"There's a dude on this cover, okay let me check the back...
Oh, a flying city! Who's this- CLEAVAGE!!!! GOTTA BUY!!!"
I just wonder why everything that I've seen about the woman in this game has to shove her boobs in my face.
 

OManoghue

New member
Dec 12, 2008
438
0
0
Man, geeks will complain about anything. The bro-baiting cover of this game is an amazing idea to get new customers. It's a way better idea than dumbing the game down for filthy CoD kids.
 

Frostbite3789

New member
Jul 12, 2010
1,778
0
0
roushutsu said:
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.
Your avatar clashes so hugely with this statement I couldn't help but laugh. I read it in my head in Jane's voice for the full effect.

OT: As someone said, if they're going for wider appeal with the cover art, I can't help but feel like that's where it might go with gameplay as well. That or it'll just be Bioshock again. In which case I'll just play Bioshock. Or System Shock 2.

OT captcha: A capatcha about Shingles. That thing that mostly old people get, but I had when I was 18. CAPTCHA Y U TAUNT ME?
 

Smertnik

New member
Apr 5, 2010
1,172
0
0
I can very well imagine it having the opposite effect as well.
For instance, if I knew nothing about the game and its predecessors and I saw the box in a shop (if I still actually went to retail shops to purchase games, that is), I'd think "Meh, it's just another dumb FPS. Could be a spin off of Call of Duty, for all I know" and walk by.
 

roushutsu

New member
Mar 14, 2012
542
0
0
Frostbite3789 said:
Your avatar clashes so hugely with this statement I couldn't help but laugh. I read it in my head in Jane's voice for the full effect.
Heh, I didn't even realize that until you brought that up. That is pretty damn goofy, isn't it? :p
 

Daaaah Whoosh

New member
Jun 23, 2010
1,041
0
0
As someone who enjoyed Bioshock as much as the next guy, I have to admit that this cover does not bother me in the slightest. It shows the setting (turn-of-the century America with a lot of sky), and it gives a brief example of the gameplay elements (you get to shoot guns). From those two facts, I would regard Bioshock Infinite as a potentially entertaining game. Unfortunately, I never buy video games without researching them first, so I have no idea if I would hypothetically buy Bioshock Infinite from the cover art, but like Levine said, it would make me at least read the back.
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
8,687
0
0
Grey Carter said:
Levine does have a point; Game packaging is meant to attract customers to the product, and the majority of people complaining about the box art were going to end up buying BioShock Infinite anyway.
Seriously...isn't it a bit late to be complaining about box art at this point? Not just for this game, but for the industry in general. Don't we currently live in the era where if you want to - just as Levine pointed out - grab someone's attention with box art, you either A: have a grissled guy with a gun looking much like BS Infinite's cover or B: Have a pair of big tits on a scantily clad female character? Gamers know full well that unless they're buying some creepy japanese import, they'll never see said female character in a sex scene, but they still might consider buying the game just to see more of her.

For the male character comparison, it's the same thing: "Well this guy looks like a grissled badass with a shotgun. I'd like to see just how badass he really is." Obviously I doubt anyone has ACTUALLY said or thought those words, but the point remains the same: the box art is meant to grab the attention of as many players as possible. With every game there is going to be X number of people that have heard about it, followed it's developement, and fully intend to buy the game regardless of the box art. I'd argue that the box art isn't even for those people. The box art is for the people walking around the game store with nothing in particular in mind and see "Hey, this game has a ninja AND a dragon on the cover. I like ninjas and dragons! I might want to look into getting this game."

In the end, though, I go back to my original point/question......why are we bitching about cover art when - with some exceptions of course - the majority of cover art is "Badass guy is badass" or "Big breasted almost naked chick is almost naked"? Isn't this like trying to bail water from a ship that's already sunk?
 

shiajun

New member
Jun 12, 2008
578
0
0
Box art like this is meant for the masses. I agree with Levine on that point and can't fault the marketing strategy to draw in more revenue. I can, however, be sad that any pretense of sophistication must be sacrificed to make room for the Dudebros demographic. Are they that important to target, and only them? Do they really promise that many more sales than the buyers looking for something different or curious? It's my feeling that the more naïve buyer would see this cover and mentally attach it to CoD or Gears of War (or any other heavily marketed military shooters) and not think more on it because it screams derivative, rather than be intrigued by something distinct. However, seeing the Americanization of lots of covers to convey "the angry eyes/aggresive syndrome", I guess there's no working around what the culture you are marketing to desires as a whole.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

(Insert witty quote here)
Sep 10, 2008
3,782
0
0
At least he is honest about it.

Still on the fence about cancelling my pre-order although. Either they are skirting the line of false advertising trying to make a Bioshock/System Shock style game look like CoD or that the game is something that a 'Dude-bro' would like.
 

Proverbial Jon

Not evil, just mildly malevolent
Nov 10, 2009
2,093
0
0
Based on box art first impressions alone, the original Bioshock would have my attention far quicker than Infinite. From what I have seen about Infinite through online coverage it is one of my most anticipated games for 2013. None of the elements that brought me such wonder have been conveyed in this cover art. Why then should I be interested in this game if I had NOT seen the online coverage?
 

Scow2

New member
Aug 3, 2009
801
0
0
Ed130 said:
At least he is honest about it.

Still on the fence about cancelling my pre-order although. Either they are skirting the line of false advertising trying to make a Bioshock/System Shock style game look like CoD or that the game is something that a 'Dude-bro' would like.
You'd be surprised at how diverse the tastes of "Dude-bros" can be. A lot of "Dudebros" absolutely loved the other Bioshock games.

Also, how's it anywhere near "False advertising"?

Smertnik said:
I can very well imagine it having the opposite effect as well.
For instance, if I knew nothing about the game and its predecessors and I saw the box in a shop (if I still actually went to retail shops to purchase games, that is), I'd think "Meh, it's just another dumb FPS. Could be a spin off of Call of Duty, for all I know" and walk by.
I don't recall Call of Duty having Zepplins in it.

The game looks like a Pulp-Serial-Early-20th-Century-throwback Dieselpunk game like Crimson Skies or Dark Void, which has perked my interest.