One Big-Budget Game That Won't Have A Gun-Toting Character On The Cover

If it's a big-budget game, you can (cynically) count on at least one thing: a stoic-looking guy incorrectly holding a gun on the cover. It's a trend in the same way blue-orange movie covers are a trend. Covers rarely break that mould, but, according to Gamespot, Quantic Dream is doing it with Beyond: Two Souls. And this is that QD were pitched the idea of having Ellen Page's character holding a gun.

Judging from Gamespot's interview with Quantic Dream co-founder Guillaume de Fondaumière, it's obvious that Quantic Dream wants to carefully manage the image of Beyond: Two Souls. It can't seem like a mindless action game. While there is some action in the title, it's not what the game is about on the whole — and the cover needed to communicate that. GameSpot writes:

So did anyone involved in the game try to pitch that Beyond's front cover be a figure of Ellen Page's character holding a gun? "Yes, and we categorically refused it," said Fondaumière. "It's kind of natural for agencies, you know, who are far away from the project, to pitch you different things. 'It's a video game? OK, it needs to have a gun otherwise it's not even a game.' But our job, with David [Cage], is to make sure that everyone understands what is specific about this game and to make sure that we have the right pack shot, and the right imagery supporting the project, and the right image is being communicated to the public."

It's almost like miracles do happen. Of course, if that wasn't interesting enough, here's the reason why a protagonist holding a gun was rejected: to reach a mature audience, and to speak to women. Apparently the game shares similarities to media women like or something — here's hoping that this doesn't mean the game is taking cues from shit like Twilight. (Never mind how dicey that idea is.)

Regardless, taking a look at the cover:

I guess it speaks to the more "contemplative" gamer? Maybe? Who knows. To the gamer that dreams of running free in the woods? Honestly between the cover and the name of the game, were I not following Beyond: Two Souls, I'd have zero clue what kind of game it is.

Quantic Dream refused gun-toting Ellen Page cover for Beyond: Two Souls [GameSpot]


    I for one, applaud QD's decision. It may be a small detail but one that makes a difference nonetheless. Now we just need more studios to break the mold and then we might see, wait for it...

    ...BATTLEZONE 3. My two cents anyway.

      You know BZ3 is a thing right? It's being made by a small team and has even had a kickstarter. I'll get the link when I get to my computer.

    I was expecting a cover art just plastered with emotions... but wait... if they're polygons, how does one represent all the emotions in a non digital format?! Oh well, at least it shows David Cage met Ellen Page!

    meh, its a little boring for me
    I was hoping for something like the Heavy Rain origami crane box art

    I like it. Heavy Rain sold over a million with just a bit of origami and some rain on the cover, so it's not like dudes with guns are essential to sales.

      The American cover was pretty awful, it also had a gun which is arguably a spoiler.

        Yeah, that's pretty ordinary.

    Patricia Hernandez, two weeks ago you wrote an article accusing Sony of sexism in regards to the lack of female stage presence at the Playstation 3 unveiling. This was an article I mostly agreed with and thought touched on some good points.

    Yet in this article, you immediately equate the tastes of women with a romance novel, and fail to acknowledge that women can and do hold interests outside of this.

    In short, Patricia, what the heck

      I agree. Unless Patricia was being tongue in cheek, in which case, it was not communicated at all.

    Now that it's been mentioned, that cover does make it seem like it's been marketed as a Twilight style romance story.

    The sad girl, the man running through the woods (I think it's actually meant to be Ellen Page but it's hard to tell). Even the name, Beyond: Two Souls, sounds like a love story. Two souls, destined for love, but something's keeping them apart. It's a cover that wouldn't look out of place on a YA novel.

    I'm excited to play this game. Heavy Rain was pretty awesome and I see no reason why this game shouldn't be equally as awesome. Still, it's interesting to see how it's been advertised, just as it was interesting to see BioShock Infinite been advertised as a dudebro shooter.

    So where are the guns in Forza? LEGO Lord of the Rings? Crusader Kings?!! Patricia you are a chauvenistic idiot. Why did you have to choose a game with Ellen Page on the front for an article called "One Big-Budget Game That Won’t Have A Gun-Toting Character On The Cover" then turn it into another fucking rant about some feminist, sexist bullshit.

    Last edited 23/03/13 2:02 pm

      You're not familiar with Patricia's articles, are you? That's exactly the kind of bullshit she does. I think Kotaku keep her around for click bait. :|

      Last edited 23/03/13 3:18 pm

    I like it. And thanks for sharing the Heavy Rain US cover art, it is indeed horrible.

    Wow, a triple-A title with a strong female protagonist in a narrative that is attempting to reach an adult audience without playing the gore, military or violence cards. Somehow that engenders criticism and false parallels to Twilight. I'm sure women will buy this game and enjoy it just as much as I will - even if you don't. Or maybe the cover won't be 'feminist' enough for them? Ridiculous.

    Quit this 'call-to-arms' tripe, where it is clearly unnecessary. Cynically mocking good titles like this is detrimental to your cause. Especially when there is already a very broad array of video games featuring strong female leads, moreso in recent and upcoming releases.

    In the mean time, perhaps you have a better idea for the cover of B:TS? Kindly enlighten us with all your wisdom!

    Given the price of games, does anyone really make a cold purchase based on the box art alone?

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