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Bioshock Infinite Box Art Designed For The "Uninformed" Gamer

When people saw the box art for Bioshock Infinite, some of the hardcore gamers and avid fans of the franchise were a little confused and disappointed.

It just didn't seem to be in the spirit of the award-winning series, and it was altogether underwhelming. However, Irrational Games boss Ken Levine told Wired that he anticipated the backlash and in fact, the design is marketed toward the "uninformed gamers."

And when he says "uninformed," he doesn't necessarily mean totally casual. He said the team went on a tour to a bunch of places (like frat houses) where people play video games but don't read IGN. When they asked if these people had heard of Bioshock, none had. But these are important consumers, says Levine, and he compared the situation to salad dressing...yeah, salad dressing. Check it out:

"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."

He added that he wanted the uninformed to pick up the box and say, "okay, this looks kind of cool, let me turn it over." Then they'd see a flying city, Elizabeth, and some freaky creature, and they might start to get interested. From my point of view, I understand the approach, Ken. But I believe there may be one glaring flaw in your salad dressing analogy: Salad dressing is pretty much for everyone; it's basically "casual" right out of the box. Bioshock was never meant to be for the "uninformed," was it...? It's a very exotic salad dressing that not everyone is going to like.

Then again, if Irrational can get all the fans to buy the game anyway, and rake in a few others who hadn't expected to buy it, then they win. And that might just happen.

Related Game(s): Bioshock Infinite

Tags: bioshock infinite, bioshock infinite cover art, bioshock infinite box art, ken levine

12/10/2012 11:08:54 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (21 posts)

BikerSaint
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 11:30:33 AM
Reply

If I was one of those "uninformed", I really don't think this new cover art would inspire me to pick up the box, never mind giving it even more than the usual standard cursory glance.

IMO, the art should be screaming "skyhook", "floating cities on rails", & "Songbird".

But that's just my 2 cents.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/10/2012 11:33:09 AM

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Jed
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 11:32:41 AM
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I hope this only has to do with the box art. I'd be very disappointed if Infinite turned out to be a "salad dressing" game.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 11:51:37 AM

That, I wouldn't be too worried about.

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bigrailer19
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 3:59:33 PM

If you seen thetrailer at the VGA's we've got nothing to worry about as Ben said. It looked wicked cool!

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Jed
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 8:51:45 PM

Cool. I try not to watch trailers for the games I really look foreword to. It's almost like trying to avoid spoilers to a game or movie that everybody is talking about. Assassin's Creed would not have been as intriguing to me if I had known about Desmond or Abstergo before I played it.

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bigrailer19
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 10:24:45 PM

I hear ya. That's very true.

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bebestorm
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 11:58:58 AM
Reply

I think Levine is onto something... I started gaming on pc with the Sims and wanted something more and boxart lead me to buy Tomb Raider Chronicles,Hitman 47 and Final Fantasy VIII. I knew nothing about what games everybody was playing.

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PoopsMcGee
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 12:00:01 PM
Reply

I don't get what you guys are complaining about. I think the box art is fine (although I don't understand why it would appeal to casuals or 'uninformed' over hardcore gamers or vice versa).

People have to calm down, we're talking about box art here. PACKAGING. It's a label on a product. Who cares.

Last edited by PoopsMcGee on 12/10/2012 12:02:33 PM

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Beamboom
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 12:06:20 PM
Reply

I remember he said something similar a while ago, I think it was at a convention or something where he had asked the audience how many knew about their game BioShock from back in 2007 and he were very surprised of how many did not.

And with a game with *that* many GOTY awards it really is quite strange.

But I am with him on the assumption that not everyone reads IGN & co. There are many games out there I know who I'd call hardcore who don't regularly read gaming sites. They just know what they like, buy the franchises they know, and pretty much play those to death. They don't have time for more than those titles anyway.

Last edited by Beamboom on 12/10/2012 12:07:29 PM

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bigrailer19
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 4:09:58 PM

I'll be honest, I think the reason why, was exclusivity. Sure it got tons of awards and *should* have gotten a lot more attention. But I didn't hear about it either, until it got goty at the spike VGA's. Now at that point I was all about PS only news considering I had only had my PS3 for going on a year, but that in itself would explain that part. I had the same experience with ME.

There is a lot of people as Levine said, that don't know what Bioshock is, but a lot more do when it came out for PS3 later. But that goes for any game, I've talked with people that are unaware of games like Ratchet, LBP and Alan Wake. The common thing between those games is exclusivity.

I could be completely wrong though! ;)

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Beamboom
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 @ 2:17:53 PM

Ah! Man it's so great to see others explain it like you do there, BiG. That's something I've tried to say a long time, in other discussions!

Someone could not believe that I didn't know much about Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy before I got me a console myself. They could not believe I didn't know who "Snake" was.

But if you are not into that platform, you really do not pay much attention to what is going on when it comes to exclusives - it's simply not of any interest!

So if Levine was asking a console crowd, then yeah but I don't think he was. But I'm not entirely sure.

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matt99
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 12:58:26 PM
Reply

People have too much time on their hands when they start complaining about box art.

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xenris
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 1:03:37 PM
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I'm not saying that this is a bad thing, but the cover is similar to a lot of covers coming out lately. Basically a heroic soldier like pose, with the hero holding a gun and there being fire etc in the background. It reminds me a lot of the Call of Duty covers and I think that is the point.

It is really simple marketing, familiarity will catch peoples eyes and while its not a cut and paste job it will do a good job and grabbing certain peoples attention AKA the lowest common denominator.

Personally I could care less, I want this game and I'm ignoring and avoiding all info on it because of how special Bioshock 1 was for me. IF he can get the Call of Duty and casual fan base interested in his extraordinary game then by all means he should.

I just hope the gameplay wasn't affected by this desire to appeal to the masses.

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Beamboom
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 3:38:30 PM

It gave me AC3-associations.

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xenris
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 4:11:48 PM

Yeah, I'm basically just trying to say that the cover looks like a lot of covers >.<

We should play Dota 2 sometime if you have it :D

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AcHiLLiA
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 4:27:18 PM

Uncharted case art, reminds me of.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 @ 2:20:11 PM

I don't, I thought it still was in a beta, but is it free to play, Xenris? If so then it's just a question of downloading it... I'm all up for that.


Last edited by Beamboom on 12/11/2012 2:20:27 PM

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Nlayer
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 1:57:27 PM
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I think this is a good idea, if only to attract more fans to a great game. However, why not give the diehard fans something they can enjoy on a reversible cover? Not needed, but it makes everyone happy. Shows that the company cares in a way.

But hey, I've known about Bioshock since before it released and I still enjoy the look of Infinite's boxart. I didn't even know this was a large problem.

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BikerSaint
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 2:59:23 PM
Reply

How about the best of both worlds then, and since it's been done before on other games....

Just do a double-sided art cover, one side like this one above for the uninformed, & with the other side being the more informed side geared towards everyone else who already knows & loves the Bioshock franchise.

*EDIT*
Just saw Nlayer's post above after posting this, so a "big yeah" to his post!

Last edited by BikerSaint on 12/10/2012 3:01:37 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, December 10, 2012 @ 4:43:27 PM
Reply

I don't like salad dressing. But I understand the less than cool box art, to them it's the final place to use as an in-store advertisement since they probably get 4 whole dollars to spend on a TV ad campaign. The rest of us already sold so ya gotta try to make sales from the mouth breathers.

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___________
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 @ 3:30:07 AM
Reply

yay, another we have to cater to everyone approach.
oh video game crash, apocalypse, 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, WHEN WILL YOU COME!!!!!!!!!!!!

one thing hes overlooking too, hes assuming only those who want brotastic sexist typical mindless shooters wont know what the game is.
what about those who dont read IGN, have not seen the trailers, and dont want your mindless typical shooter?
those who dont read "gaming dressing weekly"?
there going to look at the box and say yea this looks like your typical shooter no thanks and put it down.

so what would you rather cater too?
the people who look at your box art and say yea that looks like your mindless shooter no thanks.
and turns out the games not like that, so a customer who would of enjoyed your game, and picked up your next without question is lost.
so 1 immediate sale is lost, and 10s, 100s, future sales are lost.
or the customer who looks at it and says oh joy another brotastic sexist egotistical shooter, then play it and say wait a minute this sucks its nothing like the box art says!
and gain 1 sale, but loose future sales.

put the proper box art and have 1 gained sale, plus future sales because the box art portrays what the game is like.
or put the false advertisement box art on it, gain 1 sale you would not of made with the "boring" box art but also loose future sales because the customers going to think these guys lie to their customers im not buying anymore of their games.
pretty obvious choice, no?

it baffles me to no end how idiotic and stupid marketing people have become!
their so shortsighted, they dont give a sh*t, or just dont think, that yea we might gain 1 sale but will loose 10 down the road.
they dont understand if you portray a game as something when its not theres going to be backlash.

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