Hey, That Cover Ripoff is Actually a Ripoff of an Older Cover
A little while back I referenced the image above that a user posted on Reddit, which we thought was funny given how popular and World War II-y Call of Duty 2 is, while Deadliest Catch concerns far fewer people shooting at you, and a whole lot more crustaceans. I made a “nice catch” pun, and for that, I am sorry.
Blogger Mike Salzman called me out for being “ignorant of box art” and demonstrated on his blog, salzmafia.com, that Call of Duty 2, Deadliest Catch and any picture of someone emphatically pointing at something in the distance are actually examples of a trope ripped off in video game box art for time eternal.
Salzman references this box from Atari’s Rampart, a 1990 arcade game that eventually got ported to numerous systems, the SNES and Sega Genesis among them (not to mention the Game Boy, the Commodore 64, the Atari Lynx, PC and Macintosh and so on). He figures Rampart probably stole it from somebody else.
So while it’s possible that Deadliest Catch was, in fact, hoping to visually reference the biggest game franchise of this generation, it’s also possible that Call of Duty 2 was hoping to reference this game:
Or maybe I was just a meanie before and they were all three trying to make pixels on a screen as seemingly exciting as possible. Either way, he was right: I was sadly ignorant of box art, and I have since been educated. And in the context of Rampart, both Deadliest Catch and Call of Duty 2 are quite a bit funnier.
Nice catch, Salzman.