Posted this over on NEOGAF, figure I'd share it here as well. Overall, the response to our new TM box has been super positive (so thanks for that- very relieved!) but some folks were saying they still liked the TM:B box the best. So here is what I wrote:
Regarding the TM BLACK box: I really love that box art as well but it really taught me a great lesson which is this: in the 60 dollar (i.e. expensive) retail space, box art first and foremost needs to be functional. It can- and should- be evocative and artistic, but more importantly- IF it is to do its job and act as another salesperson for the title- the box needs to catch the eye while explaining- to SOME degree- the experience inside the box that we are asking people to give us 60 bucks for.
The folks inclined to be attracted to a box because it's mostly/only unique or clever or artistic TEND to be a lot of the same folks who read the game sites and already know if they want the game to begin with. The box is really there to catch the eye and mind of folks who've never heard of your title or who have heard of it but are not sold just yet.
So yeah, I loved the TMB box but TMB was also the worst selling TM game in history (other than Small Brawl). And it was released for the #1 console system at the time. Yeah, you could argue the M rating is what did it in and you could argue that POSSIBLY- except among the core fans of the niche genre- that car combat as a genre was on the wane. And those things may have been- and may still be- true. But I have to think the box art- cool as it was- didn't do us any sales favors.
Another great example is the Resistance 3 box art. I think it's a wonderful image and a fantastic artistic box but I think- as a sales tool- it's a pretty terrible box front. I think the new Saint's Row is a FANTASTIC game that has a GREAT, iconic box front but I don't think it serves the game as a sales tool.
Ok ya'll- off to start the day! Talk soon!