Designing video game covers can be tricky; both artists and designers need to make sure that the cover reflects the content of the game in a way that attracts customers’ attention but doesn’t give too much away. Balancing action and entertainment in the design can result in some striking game covers that immediately catch someone’s eye and makes them want to buy the game.
While some companies prefer epic covers and others keep the design a bit more simple, there seems to be a trend on common video game covers’ design with a few recognisable types you may have noticed:
The Giant Head
Bethesda has a few titles in which they utilise this trope, with games such as Dishonored, The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard, and The Elder Scrolls V: Dragonborn featuring characters in which you only see a giant head that menacingly stares back at you. Other games worth mentioning that also follow this trend are:
– XCOM 2
– Metal Gear Solid
– Dead Space 2
The White Background
Whether it’s with minimalism in mind or a stylistic choice to highlight the main character, many video game covers have a white background that can seem as if designers forgot to add the background. This noticeable trend can be found in Electronic Arts’ sports franchises and Wii games, for example.
A few games you can notice this trend in are:
– Final Fantasy XIII
– Batman Arkham City
– Aliens: Colonial Marines
A typical video game cover is ‘The Loner’, which features a single character walking towards you or just posing. The background can often be simple greenery, an explosion, an airship flying behind, or other common design fillers that have been utilised almost to death. Bonus points for other tropes such as The View from the Back (Tron: Evolution), Single Character With Gun Pointing Up (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), or Single Character in the Shadows (Call of Duty: Black Ops).
Some games guilty of using ‘The Loner’ are:
– Dragon Age II
– Fallout 3
Capable of being impactful, the single hand on the cover can often be an intriguing part of the design. Similarly to ‘The Giant Head’ trope, it intends to highlight and focus on a body part to transmit the ambience of the game to potential buyers. Games that have used this trend are:
– Dead Space
– Left 4 Dead
The Three-People Team
Often called the magic number, the number three features in video games constantly, with covers no escaping from the trend. Teams of three can often be seen on video game covers, whether with characters from the waist up, just three giant heads, or a few other but smaller characters. You can see these fantastic three-people teams in games such as:
– Tropico 4
– LEGO Harry Potter
– Halo Wars
What if there is no protagonist to highlight? Or even if the characters themselves aren’t the main feature? In games in which cars are the main ‘character’, you will often find a slow-motion frozen image of cars to transmit the action-packed feeling the game provides. Any Mario Kart lover will know the game belongs on this list:
– Mario Kart
– Need for Speed
Covers are always a vital part of buying a game, alongside with the packaging and often the collector’s editions worth hundreds of pounds. Here at VDC Group, we have a wide range of services for the Gaming, TV, Entertainment, Film and Music industries. Get in touch with us to know more!