American Box Art Sucks

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NEXT
 

American Box Art Sucks

Why does America hate French videogame developers?

Read Full Article

Because America is all about identifying with the main character- becoming the main character, so that's what we want to see on our box art. Admittedly, not always, but mostly. And we can't identify with a character (or characters) if we don't know what they look like.

Yeah I love the ICO box art

Yahtzee, I don't know why our box art designers are morons. Believe me, I'd love to have the same box art as some other versions of movies and game, but it's not really up to us.

Because I don't make Box Art. Granted, I would likely not even qualify for the job. I would really like to get into it though...

Do we even mention why America loves their box art look like toughen moody bad guys?

LadyRhian:
Because America is all about identifying with the main character- becoming the main character, so that's what we want to see on our box art. Admittedly, not always, but mostly. And we can't identify with a character (or characters) if we don't know what they look like.

But that doesn't explain why they manage to render the main character in such an ugly and unattractive way.

As far as I can tell, it's because American game advertising studios want to be advertising Hollywood summer blockbusters. They are of the opinion that games come in three types: Action movie, space opera movie, and match-3... and nobody cares about match-3 games anyway, right?

I think a similar sort of thing happens in movies, if you look into it - although somewhat in reverse. Big action movies get action-focused movie posters and lots of advertising. Slower, cerebral movies - especially those without any gunfights to "justify" the thing - tend to have less advertisement and more esoteric posters - almost as if the director himself decided to have a crack at making the poster.

It's all about appealing to a target audience, and both American videogames and American movies think their target audience is, without fail, the meathead Superbowl-addict chips-and-beer demographic.

The American art looks like it's trying to do too much and rather than focusing on one interesting element just packs in everything they can find. These elements cancel each other out. Sometimes there needs to be an understanding of the concept, Less is more.

And some of them look like awful Hollywood movie posters from several decades back.

Yahtzee, this just seems kind of irrelevant in this day and age. With online distribution on the rise there's not much of future for box art. It's all screenshots nowadays.

Besides, most of these examples are from the 80's. We Americans prefer not to talk about the art that came out of our country in those days.

Agreed! Much preferred foreign Heavy Rain boax art. Also, Mass Effect 2...the standard edition box art was terrible. However, I really liked the collector's edition box art for Mass Effect 2.

I think it all boils down to America's "ADD, kick-ass-and-take-names" attitude. We need explosions and sexy women to intrigue us. The "subtle, artsy" approach isn't "the best" way to go for American audiences. Which is sad, really :'(

To be fair, (insert generic insult against snooty French people here.)

Seriously, I think game art is really irrelevant at this point. I know back in the day when those without game magazine access had only to go by the cover and back blurbs it was more important, but we can read about games years before they are even released. Many games nowadays seem to assume that you read up on the game beforehand because the box art is hardly a good description of what you do in a particular game.

I like how everyone mentions Mega Man 1 as a horrible cover, but lest us forget that Mega Man 2 was pretty awful as well. Sure it gave a slightly better description of what you were doing, but here Mega Man looks like he's trying to squeeze out a massive fart.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/be/Megaman2_box.jpg

Do you all just genuinely have the aesthetic sense of a kipper, or is this part of that big "defiance of authority" thing you guys have going that makes you equate "stubborn pig ignorance" with "down homey wisdom"?

The second one. And, as an American, it perplexes me on so many levels.

Most of the box art pictures won't load. D:

Well, opinions on things like artwork vary. Yes it is possible to point to some examples like "Megaman" as things that were unconditionally terrible, but if I paid more attention to the box art of releases on a globale scale I doubt it would be difficult to come up with situations where other countries received similarly laughable artwork.

Truthfully I do not think a minimalist design is always better, and the "collage" style exists because for the US audience I think it's important to sell people on the protaganists of the game. Believe it or not you can tell a lot about characters from the way they are drawn when it comes to fiction. As laughable as it is, "why is that girl running around in her underwear on the cover of Heavy Rain" is pretty much truth in advertising going by the game's content and your own review. In cases like "Marvel Ultimate Alliance" this was done because which characters are in the game is very important to American comic fans, and of course putting a character like Spider-Man in the center is largely because he's one of the best known Marvel characters due to his huge fan base (which is why he got the movies, rather than the movies being what sold the character to the US oddly enough) and as such one of the first characters a typical comic geek is going to want to know if the game has.

It's sort of like humor, it's totally subjective. Some people find you funny... others not so much.

As far as the last comment about the French goes, I think you might be losing track of your own British roots. :)

Simple answer? The people behind the American Boxart are fucking morons... thats about it...

So you blame American consumers for art choices made by a few foreign game companies when they import things here? Thats like blaming Australians for "choosing" to have Paul hogan be their national spokesman for 20 years, or the British for "picking" the ugliest royal family in history.

It's funny, because as soon as Yahtzee started describing crappy boxart, I thought of Heavy Rain. And then there it was, in the article.

Cause thats what the over seas companies think we like. Its not our fault their idea of how to market to americans is wrong. Besides, its the game inside that counts.

It's a trade off. You Aussies get good box art. We Yankees get games before they become irrelevant.

the best case for this point(even though yahtzee won't apreciate this) is the final fantasy series

in europe and japan the box art simply consists of a blank white background with the amano illustration and the title in the center whereas the us versions generally end up showing disjointed pictures of all the main characters

the eu and jpn versions work better as the stark white case catches your eye against all the brown on the shelves and the strange illustration piques your interest

as for why? americans TEND to be a lot more heavy handed in....well everything! be they box arts,comedy or even love interests in games

Yup. We sure get some weird boxart over here in the States. I also submit for this discussion, Kirby:

Last one is a joke obviously, but really, why did they keep making Kirby angry on our box art?

LadyRhian:
Because America is all about identifying with the main character- becoming the main character, so that's what we want to see on our box art. Admittedly, not always, but mostly. And we can't identify with a character (or characters) if we don't know what they look like.

I'm sorry, fellow escapee, but I could never identify with a main character that looks like this abomination over here:

image

What the fuck is this?

And the punchline? MEGAMAN DOESN'T EVEN LOOK LIKE THAT!

Do you all just genuinely have the aesthetic sense of a kipper, or is this part of that big "defiance of authority" thing you guys have going that makes you equate "stubborn pig ignorance" with "down homey wisdom"?

There's a third option. American marketing executives think the purchasing public are a bunch of idiotic tasteless morons and commission their hard-working slave-trade designers to cobble something together to meet some form of aesthetic that's guaranteed to sell. Forget if it has anything to do with what's being sold, as long as it sells.

It's the same thing that happens to web design, as the Oatmeal accurately describes.

LadyRhian:
Because America is all about identifying with the main character- becoming the main character, so that's what we want to see on our box art. Admittedly, not always, but mostly. And we can't identify with a character (or characters) if we don't know what they look like.

I was going to say something like this. Only I was going to say thats what marketers/people who handle the importing think.

I personally think its bullshit, and would love to change it. The reason I didn't buy ICO at first was because of the insanely awful box-art.

Then I bought Shadow of the Colossus, because of its box-art, and upon learning the same people made ICO, I set out to buy it.

EDIT: Also, what he said:

BlueInkAlchemist:

Do you all just genuinely have the aesthetic sense of a kipper, or is this part of that big "defiance of authority" thing you guys have going that makes you equate "stubborn pig ignorance" with "down homey wisdom"?

There's a third option. American marketing executives think the purchasing public are a bunch of idiotic tasteless morons and commission their hard-working slave-trade designers to cobble something together to meet some form of aesthetic that's guaranteed to sell. Forget if it has anything to do with what's being sold, as long as it sells.

It's the same thing that happens to web design, as the Oatmeal accurately describes.

Here is a nice comparison between American and Japanese box art.

I love how Kirby has to be angry in America.

What I find more perplexing is the assumption that the North American market somehow requires different, and invariably shittier, cover art. The very notion of needing to localize covers art is implicitly insulting.

I just try not to think about it, but every game I get that includes the original box art somewhere always makes me think "God damn it, localization team." Trust me, Yahtzee, it annoys the hell out of a lot of Americans too.

For those who want to see more examples of things ruined in this manner, I direct you to (where else?) TVTropes. http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AmericanKirbyIsHardcore

SilentHunter7:
It's a trade off. You Aussies get good box art. We Yankees get games before they become irrelevant.

Lmao.. I think you just scored bonus points for that answer.

Future wars one made me laugh, the Amarican one looks like 2 soldiers are trying to hold off an octopus while a happy doggy tries to get in on the actions too.

Edit: Oh and the soldiers have fire plooming out from their arseholes

Well I'm Canadian and we don't really don't like to be bunched with the americans. But unfortunately we are when it comes to games. We get all the american versions. I kinda wish we would get the Pal version of games. I would have loved to have the pal version of Final Fantasy X.

Short version:

This sort of thing is done by people who have no sense of subtly or had it beaten out of them. They know they have at best 30 seconds to make the game stand out on the shelf. So they create the busiest mess imaginable so the average passerby has to stop and make sense of it.

A good chunk of the American history of marketing relied on being as obtrusive and obnoxious as humanly possible and this is just the latest iteration of it.

Russian_Assassin:

LadyRhian:
Because America is all about identifying with the main character- becoming the main character, so that's what we want to see on our box art. Admittedly, not always, but mostly. And we can't identify with a character (or characters) if we don't know what they look like.

I'm sorry, fellow escapee, but I could never identify with a main character that looks like this abomination over here:

image

What the fuck is this?

And the punchline? MEGAMAN DOESN'T EVEN LOOK LIKE THAT!

holy shit, i've seen some bad american box art in my time, but that takes the cake.

Im glad us brits get mostly awesome covers, and awesome cases as well (see Dreamcast, those of which came in nice blue jewel cases, unlike the US ones that came in music cd like cases).

You should have brought up resident evil 4 boxart.

here is the pal version: image It's very stylise and a litte scary too.

Now here is the american: image

So generic. Nothing about this cover is good. It's so damn bland.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here