Ken Levine explains the Bioshock Infinite box art. The man speaks sense
[Update: you can now download alternative PS3 Bioshock Infinite covers.]
A lot of people got upset when the Bioshock Infinite box art was revealed. With all its frowny man/gun action fans felt it was selling the game short. According to director Ken Levine is isn’t, it’s selling it hard.
Ken Levine explains the Bioshock Infinite box art
So why the genero-art? It’s because not everyone is a super keen gamer reading several gaming sites a day. “There are plenty of products that I buy that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about,” explains Levine. “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.”
Irrational basically discovered that plenty of people treat games like salad dressing. “We went and did a tour around 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. For some people, [games are] like salad dressing. Or movies, or TV shows. It was definitely a reality check for us”.
As a result Levine and the team had to think hard about what to do with Bioshock Infinite. “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 – 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?”
As a result Bioshock Inifinite’s art has taken the more generic but more widely appealing route. Hence angry man, waistcoats, gun, fire. It’s basically the Battlefield box meets period drama. For those that really hate though Levine has revealed that Irrational will be compiling a range of downloadable alternatives.