Serious Left 4 Dead fans are well aware of the previously nixed box art for the game, but Valve has revealed more of the game's rejected attempts at box art that says "zombie apocalypse."
Like previous insights into the making of Left 4 Dead, the journey through rejected covers are full of "well, now that seems so obvious" design decisions. While early versions of the game's box design adhered to conventions—like, always put your heroes front and center!—it's clear that Valve ultimately decided on something radically different.
As the company's own real-world testing showed—they put box mock ups on GameStop store shelves and watched how customers reacted—it's pretty clear they made the right choice.
How Left 4 Dead lost its Survivors and it's bloody red colour scheme is expertly laid out at the game's official web site. A rare and fascinating insight into a design process that rarely gets much attention in this medium.
Lose the Thumb: Creating Left 4 Dead's Box Art [Left 4 Dead Blog]