The Weekend Chat: What Makes Good Box Art?


There are a lot of folks who don't like the box art for the new Doom, but luckily, if you're one of them, you'll be able to swap it out with a reversible cover that's currently undergoing a vote on Twitter.

Box art is a weird thing. On the one hand, there's always some validity to the old adage of "don't judge a book by its cover", and I doubt anyone would change their mind about a game based solely on the case. But on the other hand, the artistic merit of covers is worth thinking about, the marketing value can't be understated, especially when it comes to getting the attention of people who've never heard of the game in question.

Which brings us to the question: what makes good box art?

What should a cover strive to achieve, and what should it avoid? Has packaging ever been the thing that brought your attention to a game in the first place, or have you ever felt like you were mislead by the box? What are some of your favourite examples of box art?

Let us know in the comments below!

The Weekend Chat is a new format we're trialing amongst other ideas for in 2016. We'd love to hear your feedback on this.  


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Comments Comments (4)

Posted by Bank
On Friday 4 Mar 2016 8:07 PM
Just go full animu with cover art. Always worked for me.
So NPCs and handsome protags staring nonchalantly away from the centre - with everyone posing while facing away from each other.
Posted by KatalystaKaos
On Saturday 5 Mar 2016 12:09 PM
Dragon Age: Inquisition was one of the best covers of recent times IMHO, anytime you have to really look to find the finer details to see all that's there, you're on the right path. The new Doom cover was/is obviously at the other end of the scale coming in so generic it actually makes you wonder if it was a sly marketing ploy to garner further attention to the product.

This also begs the question in this ever growing digital era, are Publishers spending less focus on cover art? Whilst digital stores still need "cover art" for games often those are just viewed as small images such as JPEGS, Whereas until recent times a game needed to really grab consumers attention amongst it competitors on a shelf.
Posted by Ron
On Saturday 5 Mar 2016 12:32 PM
I think stuff like sports titles the cover athletes are super important.
Posted by PotatoLegs
On Tuesday 8 Mar 2016 2:31 PM
I'm leaning more into wanting to point out the necessity of box art in this day and age - where packaging seems a wasteful extravagance, when we have the efficiency of downloadable games.

But some of my favourite box art harkens back to the 90s with the old 8 and 16bit games, where the art often bore little resemblance to the look of the game itself, and where there was a great deal of interpretation required, and evoked a lot of pondering about the story based upon the depictions of monsters and heroes etc.

Currently, the Okami cover is the most recent game that has a really neat illustrative style