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Explanation for the Bioshock Infinite's Terrible Box art

This is a discussion on Explanation for the Bioshock Infinite's Terrible Box art within the BioShock Infinite forum, part of the B; Ken Levine Explains BioShock Infinite's Bland Box Art | Game|Life | Wired.com cutting to the part you care about : ...

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    Explanation for the Bioshock Infinite's Terrible Box art

    Ken Levine Explains BioShock Infinite's Bland Box Art | Game|Life | Wired.com


    cutting to the part you care about:

    “I understand that some of the fans are disappointed. We expected it. I know that may be hard to hear, but let me explain the thinking.”

    “We went and did a tour… around to a bunch of, like, frathouses and places like that. People who were gamers. Not people who read IGN. And [we] said, so, have you guys heard of BioShock? not a single one of them had heard of it.”

    “And we live in this very special… you know, BioShock is a reasonably successful franchise, right? Our gaming world, we sometimes forget, is so important to us, but… there are plenty of products that I buy that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. My salad dressing. If there’s a new salad dressing coming out, I would have no idea. I use salad dressing; I don’t read Salad Dressing Weekly. I don’t care who makes it, I don’t know any of the personalities in the salad dressing business.”

    “For some people, [games are] like salad dressing. Or movies, or TV shows. It was definitely a reality check for us. Games are big, and they’re expensive, I think that’s very clear. And to be successful, and to continue to make these kinds of games which frankly, of the people who make these types of games, there’s not a lot of them, and they haven’t exactly been the most successful with these types of games that have come out in the last few years. I was thrilled because I love them, and I hope that we had some small role in getting those games greenlit… But they have to be financially successful to keep getting made.”

    “I looked at the cover art for BioShock 1, which I was heavily involved with and love, I adored. And I tried to step back and say, if I’m just some guy, some frat guy, I love games but don’t pay attention to them… if I saw the cover of that box, what would I think? And I would think, this is a game about a robot and a little girl. That’s what I would think. I was trying to be honest with myself. Trust me, I was heavily involved with the creation of those characters and I love them.”

    “Would I buy that game if I had 60 bucks and I bought three games a year… would I even pick up the box? I went back to the box for System Shock 1, which was obviously incredibly imporatnt — that game was incredibly influential on me, System Shock 2 was the first game I ever made. I remember I picked it up… looked at it and I said, I have no idea what this game is. And I didn’t have a lot of money back then. So, back on the shelf. And I was a gamer.”

    “I wanted the uninformed, the person who doesn’t read IGN… to pick up the box and say, okay, this looks kind of cool, let me turn it over. Oh, a flying city. Look at this girl, Elizabeth on the back. Look at that creature. And start to read about it, start to think about it.”

    “I understand that our fan says, that’s great Ken, what’s in it for me? One, we need to be successful to make these types of games, and I think it’s important, and I think the cover is a small price for the hardcore gamer to pay. I think also when we do something for the hardcore gamer, there’s something we’re talking about and something we’re sure about. The thing we’re sure about is that we’re going to be releasing a whole set of alternate covers that you can download and print. We’re going to be working with the community to see what they’re interested in.”

    “We had to make that tradeoff in terms of where we were spending our marketing dollars. By the time you get to the store, or see an ad, the BioShock fan knows about the game. The money we’re spending on PR, the conversations with games journalists — that’s for the fans. For the people who aren’t informed, that’s who the box art is for.”

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    I personally like the boxart. It's artistic and is different from most others. It would stand out amongst others you see because it simply doesn't look like a boxart at all. Put it up next to other games it would stand out the most, which is what a boxart should try and accomplish. I applaud them for doing something different and taking a risk with it.

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    The box art doesn't even look that bad, I like it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kid_Loser View Post
    I personally like the boxart. It's artistic and is different from most others. It would stand out amongst others you see because it simply doesn't look like a boxart at all.
    i don't think a guy holding a weapon, walking towards you, eyes up face down, is a unique box art.


    Kotaku australia explains it well (they arn't owned by the US kotaku, so it's ok to link):

    http://www.kotaku.com.au/2012/09/how...ur-easy-steps/

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    I like the box art also looks dope….Would like it if it stuck out a little like the Darksiders 2 art did that was sick



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    Amazingly in-depth explanation and shows that despite the amount of whining on threads, and backlash of semi-trivial things such as a cover, that there is a reason behind such endeavors.

    Levine is one of the most likable reads in the industry, and this doesn't disappoint and explains why they went the direction they did. At the end of the day, shouldn't we care a lot more about the game and not the cover art, and hope that Irrational and 2K Games do everything in their power to make Bioshock: Infinite a breakout hit? If this brings in the casual gamer, and doesn't cost millions of dollars in lame CGI movie trailers, or commercials with ridiculously misplaced actors, then we should back their decision. The industry is about money, and it appears that a lot of Irrational's future is banking on this game and it being as financially successful as possible

    Besides, like 99% of us have our games predominately featured with their spines out, so what do we care?

    Critical acclaims, being fan favorites, and making "epic cover art" (which matters so much to us as a whole, that here on this site we don't even bother considering it for an end of year award) matter little in the grand scheme of things, as much as being a financially successful game/franchise.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ps360 View Post
    i don't think a guy holding a weapon, walking towards you, eyes up face down, is a unique box art.


    Kotaku australia explains it well (they arn't owned by the US kotaku, so it's ok to link):

    Create Your Own Video Game Box Art In 4 Easy Steps | Kotaku Australia
    I'm not saying what's going on makes it interesting, but the fact that it looks more like a poster than a boxart makes it more unique. You rarely see that.

    Thanks to Bladia for the amazing Sig and Avy.

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    I thought we were finished with this. The box art is not shit, take your entitled ass out of here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsluckay View Post
    I thought we were finished with this. The box art is not shit, take your entitled ass out of here.
    PS360 doesn't like something, be prepared to hear about it for the next several months

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    Quote Originally Posted by dsluckay View Post
    I thought we were finished with this. The box art is not shit, take your entitled ass out of here.
    I'd normally be among the first to put PS360 on blast, for being bias and posting a negative agenda-filled article. Aside from the use of "terrible" in the title, which was superfluous, the article is an in-depth explanation by the father of Bioshock explaining why they did go in the direction. This was actually informative and explains why things that may be silly to some, such as box art, end up the way they do.

    This is one article, that PS360 has posted that thoroughly, and unequivocally shoots down his original stance - and doesn't have some rhetoric afterwards about it being a "shit" excuse.

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    In my opinion people have just become picky about things that don't live up to 'their' expectations. It's boxart, how good the game is is what matters most. I actually like the boxart

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubicant81 View Post
    I'd normally be among the first to put PS360 on blast, for being bias and posting a negative agenda-filled article. Aside from the use of "terrible" in the title, which was superfluous, the article is an in-depth explanation by the father of Bioshock explaining why they did go in the direction. This was actually informative and explains why things that may be silly to some, such as box art, end up the way they do.

    This is one article, that PS360 has posted that thoroughly, and unequivocally shoots down his original stance - and doesn't have some rhetoric afterwards about it being a "shit" excuse.
    i can go download a better boxart anyway









    Quote Originally Posted by dsluckay View Post
    I thought we were finished with this. The box art is not shit, take your entitled ass out of here.

    It's my money, I can be your mis-used definition of "entitled" as much as i fucking want.



    Levine pretty much admitted it's a bad box art and is only used to pull in the casual market.

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    I agree with Doodles...the box art is fucking awful. But what it does establish for the casual gamer is three important elements for the Bioshock universe -

    a. It's a shooter.
    b. It's alternative history.
    c. It's anti-establishment.

    It has to encourage a casual gamer's interest within a second or two and just enough to pick up the box and flip it over to learn more. And it probably fulfills that objective.

    I understand the rationale and that it won't affect any core gamer's decision to buy BI, but I still assert that the artwork could have been better. I don't mind the burning flag, the logo or the airship, but there's something about the protagonist being the dominant element in an untrustworthy pose that rubs me up the wrong way. Or maybe it's the blatant "I'm a shooter" message that panders to the uneducated masses that bothers me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krysta91 View Post
    In my opinion people have just become picky about things that don't live up to 'their' expectations. It's boxart, how good the game is is what matters most. I actually like the boxart
    The phrase "don't judge a book by it's cover" is thrown around a lot. However, people don't know that it refers to a time when pretty much every book looked exactly alike - they didn't have covers like they do now - you had no idea what was inside until you read it.

    I, too, am one of the people disappointed in Bioshock's boxart - not because I don't think it looks nice, it's quite nice, actually - but because it's just so generic.

    Boxart is far more important than people realize. Think about ICO - the European/Japanese box art was beautiful [It's the same art that was used on the ICO/SotC collection]. It's very simple, hand drawn, and it conveys the game's message beautifully.

    See what I mean?

    The US art? Looked like a person very new to Photoshop threw a bunch of pictures together and applied a bunch of filters to them.

    It looked like one of those bargain bin games you'd see at the end of a console's life.

    See for yourself.

    It was tacky, and it, coupled with not a lot of marketing, caused the game to sell very poorly here in the states [It actually did pretty well elsewhere.]

    Boxart is what you see first. It's what needs to stand out and sell your game amongst the competition. It needs to represent your game's strong points.

    There's a lot of imagery in Bioshock Infinite that could have been used to much better effect than just the main character [Whom is barely seen in the game at all] - Songbird, Elizabeth, hell, the Americana styling of the game - all are much more important in the actual game.

    I can understand Ken's point here - they need to make money, obviously - however, they chose a very generic route and it doesn't represent the game the best way possible. I've seen many a fan rendition that does a much, much better job of that - for example.

    When your boxart looks like every other shooter available right now - you've messed up.

    Take a look at the following, and you'll see what I mean - Battlefield 3, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Resistance 3.

    From a marketing standpoint - that Resistance 3 cover is going to stand out. Bioshock Infinite's cover has the luxury of being colorful, so it stands a better chance, but it's still just a boring guy standing with a gun over his shoulder looking mean - where's the originality? Where's the more important story element?

    It tells me nothing of the game, or even the character, aside from the fact that he's angry and shoots stuff.

    It's not a matter of just "being pretty". As I said, the art itself is well done - but there's a major missed chance here for something really creative.

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    When you start to bitch and complain about boxart you know you are an absolute loser.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ant1th3s1s View Post
    c. It's anti-establishment.
    actually it's quite neutral politically.

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    I don't mind it myself, but seriously I could not care less if the cover was blank with just a title on it as long as the gameplay is good that's all that really matters.


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    I'm not a huge fan of Infinite's Box Art, then again, I wasn't a huge fan of the original two either so. I understand why the box art is what it is. I mean Levine went out a did his own market research, even if he did pick Frat Houses, but still. He has a valid reason for having the box art the game has. Personally I think Bioshock is one of the best franchise to ever be made. As long as this game, is on par or better with the first two. I can care less how the cover looks. Because as Rubicant81 said, my games are displayed spin out anyway, so no one sees the cover unless it comes off the shelf. Besides I can't think of one game I have ever bought, because the Box Art look nice.

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    I don't care what the cover looks like on any game , only because I don't collect them I just trade them in once I get bored of them.
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    I like it better than Bioshock 2's cover, but the first has the best one. I still like this cover though.

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