Box art isn’t usually a magnet for controversy, but plenty of gamers voiced their displeasure when developer Irrational Games recently unveiled the cover (pictured to the right) for BioShock Infinite, a shooter coming out on March 26 for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
Now, a lot of (indistinguishable ) modern games feature a male protagonist holding a gun on the cover, but Infinite takes place on a floating city that houses an assortment of bizarre and magnificent creatures. Yes, BioShock Infinite will involve a lot of shooting, but the series has always stood out because of interesting settings and creative monsters. This game will give you the chance to visit a strange world while giant, robotic birds and mechanical, gun-wielding George Washingtons terrorize you. You wouldn’t know any of that just by looking at the box art. You’d just know that it’s “another” shooter.
Lead designer Ken Levine tried to explain the controversial cover in an interview with Wired . He wants the box art to appeal to more casual gamers who have never heard of BioShock (like the college frat boy crowd). Essentially, military shooters like Call of Duty are really popular, so he wants the cover to look like one you’d see on a Call of Duty game . That might be sound marketing logic, and you have to appreciate his honesty about the situation, but it’s sad to see unique, creative ideas (giant robot bird) pushed aside to emphasize familiar ones (dude holding a gun).
Of course, it could be worse. Don’t believe us? Then take a look at the five fake covers we created for BioShock Infinite in the gallery below. That generic hero pose is looking pretty good now, isn’t it?