Coffee Talk #64: The Great Box Art Controversy

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, Lane Kiffin jumping from Tennessee to USC, Conan O’Brien vs. Jay Leno, or what Jose Canseco injected into you, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

The box art for Heavy Rain has been getting a lot of criticism from American enthusiast gamers. A lot of of them feel that the European version is vastly superior and Americans are getting the shaft by out-of-touch marketers. Personally, I like both boxes and don’t see what the big deal is, but I’m reminded of a situation where I did care: Ico.

The American box art for Ico sucked and I was jealous that gamers around the world had a prettier version. It’s a bit irrational, for sure. The game wasn’t any better or worse because of the box. Sony certainly didn’t care if the box made its customers happy since they already bought the game. The majority of gamers didn’t care or didn’t know that there was better box art in other lands. All that said, for a small group of people this was a huge deal. In retrospect, I’m not even sure why the whole thing bothered me so much. Capricious youth?

Today I wanted to see how you felt about box art for games. Does your blood boil when cooler art is available in Europe or Japan? Or do you not care at all?

Author: RPadTV


31 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #64: The Great Box Art Controversy”

  1. Seems like the whole argument may be somewhat dated. There's the whole "bright new future" of digital distribution on it's way, and box art will be a thing of the past all together.

    That being said, So long as the game is the same, I don't really care.

  2. @Nightshade386 Boxes aren't going anywhere in the immediate future. Digital distribution is still a console generation (maybe) or two (probably) away from being the norm.

  3. Game Informer had a whole spread on this last month (or so). They showed a bunch of games and the different regional box art for them.

    They basically said that in the States, the art tends to focus on the characters in the game where in Europe, it tends to focus on the scenery and background images of the game. That's the general rule at least.

    I'm sure there's a large marketing survey/focus groups to blame for the phenomenon.

  4. I read today that the european box art will be made available to print for people who are particular. the internet has created such snobs in gaming, hasn't it?

    Personally I never thought much about box art myself.

  5. Hmm…interesting. They didn't want to compete with MW2 and the damn music games for the holidays, I get that. Why the delay now? I thought this game was done and just waiting to be released. In fact, I remember reading a review that told me how long the game was.

  6. @nigthshade – that's a bummer but between Bioshock and Mass Effect 2 it's almost a relief. not to mention the Dragon Age DLC coming in March.

    Speaking of which, I finally nailed Leliana and got the last 2 romance achievements. who would of thought I'd do it on the girl playthrough. My game updated this morning when I turned the Xbox on but I wasn't sure what it was

  7. @off topic

    i know little about the country of haiti, i dont particularly care what happens there, but this afternoon, they have my sympathy

    up to 500,000 people dead? thats damn crazy


    the first game i ever bought for my NES was rygar, still one of my favorite games

    and it had BEAUTIFUL box art

    see for yourselves

  8. @off topic

    ive never been to haiti, and generally i dont really know or care about the country at all, but today, they have my sympathy….up to 500k people died in a day, thats pretty messed up


    the first NES game i ever bought was rygar…still one of my favorite games EVER…oh, and it had some beautiful box art….see for yourselves…)

  9. @ Splinter Cell

    I'm pretty zen-like when it comes to my patience for games. Very rarely could I feel antsy about a game. I am excited about the new Splinter Cell however, I can just hold out until it's ready.

    On the other hand, when it comes to the next and final season of Lost… I want to watch the whole thing yesterday. Feb. 2 can not get here soon enough to quench my thirst for Lost.

  10. @off topic

    ive never been to haiti, and generally i dont really know or care about the country at all, but today, they have my sympathy….up to 500k people died in a day, thats pretty messed up


    the first NES game i ever bought was rygar…still one of my favorite games EVER…oh, and it had some beautiful box art….see for yourselves…)

  11. I don't see the real difference in the two boxarts for Heavy Rain. The American ones has the characters on the front and the origami, the european is very minimalist. Maybe it speaks more to the game itself, but I can't see it being enough to get in a tizzy over. It's not like the crap Mega Man 1 cover.

  12. @Smartguy – definently above 1k. The whole capital is torn to shreds. Earthquakes + Hill Sides = Bad Juju. I think they will be lucky if the casualties are in the low hundreds of thousands.

  13. @smartguy

    heres the yahoo front page story bi line

    Early casualty estimates from Haiti's massive quake range from thousands to half a million, even if its only 50k, still pretty bad

  14. @Shockwave – great article dude. I am in Nightshade's camp with my thoughts on the game, but still a nice job either way.

  15. @Splinter Cell: February was ridiculously heavy for games. April, by comparison, was pretty light. I think it was probably a good move to push it back, even if I do really want to play it.

  16. @ Haiti

    Even more people might die as a result of the fallout. They are pretty poor down there and if supplies can't get to where they need to be… that could cost even more lives.

    Holy wow… that's like Hiroshima horrible.

  17. I do think the Euro box art looks better but our version looks good too. I’m not that big on box art either way. As for digital distribution, I still think it’s further off than people think.

  18. Wow I actually had no idea there were different version of box art. I just assumed all were the same except for the language on the box.

    Truly it makes no difference to me. Once I buy the game I typically only ever see the spine of it once it has been played and filed. Other than seeing it when I buy it, the case is just a vessel to protect my investment and doesn’t provide me with any aesthetically pleasing thoughts or any jealousy towards others.

    Heck I ‘acquired’ a copy of Saints Row 2 on accident and it had no case so I just went online and printed off the box art from one of the cd label and case design sites. It is the actual cover art and I just put it in any empty case I had. So i don’t see why one couldn’t do the same and print a high quality scan and insert it on their own.

  19. As long as it isn’t censored, I’m pretty apathetic to it.

    AT&T 3G finally working again after a 5 hour absence.

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