BioShock Infinite’s Box Art Designed for “Frat Guys”
Bioshock Infinite creative director Ken Levine has explained that the reason behind the game’s arguaby unimaginative box art is entirely based on marketing techniques — specifically, to attract gamers who don’t already know about the game.
Speaking with Wired, Levine explained how, currently, BioShock isn’t widely known by the greater gaming community, despite its success. He said:
“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.”
Levine went on to describe the ensuing epiphany he had regarding box art:
“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. [...] 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 important — 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.”
What do you think of BioShock Infinite’s box art? Does it bother you that it was designed to cater to the Call of Duty/Battlefield crowd of AAA FPS players?