BioShock Infinite's box art isn't meant for hardcore fans — it's for the people who aren't familiar with the series, BioShock creator and Irrational Games co-found Ken Levine said during an interview with Wired.
The game's recently released box art sparked controversy with fans, who claimed it was too generic and dull for the series. But disappointment is something Levine expected. When the cover was created, it wasn't the fans Levine had in mind. It was everyone else.
According to Levine, Infinite's creators toured "frat houses and places like that" to talk about one thing: what is BioShock?
"Not a single one of them had heard of it," Levine said.
"BioShock is a reasonably successful franchise, right? Our gaming world, we sometimes forget, is so important to us, but ... there are plenty of products of products that I buy that I don't spend a lot of time thinking about," Levine said.
Levine explained that for some people, games are something as non-important as salad dressing and called the informal tour " a reality check."
"We had to make that tradeoff in terms of where we were spending our marketing dollars."
"I looked at the cover art for BioShock 1, which I was heavily involved with and love, I adored," Levine said. "And I tried to step back and say, if I'm just some guy, some frat 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."
Levine hopes that the cover of Infinite will draw in the otherwise uninformed player, catch their attention and get them thinking. The cover is a small price for the hardcore gamer to pay, Levine said, in order for the company to be successful and to keep making games.
"We had to make that tradeoff in terms of where we were spending our marketing dollars," Levine said. "The money we're spending on PR, the conversations with games journalists — that's for the fans. For the people who aren't informed, that's who the box art is for."
Levine also revealed that a set of alternative BioShock Infinite covers would be available to download and print, and that the team will be working with the gaming community on what they're interested in.
BioShock Infinite was recently delayed from its February release date and is now slated for Mar. 26, 2013. The game will launch for Windows, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.