Facebook Files: Videogame Boxes

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Following up on last week’s discussion about manuals, this week, we’re talking about videogame boxes and how they could potentially be improved both aesthetically and functionally. The talk of boxes originally started when we began to discuss the applications of QR codes.


Ishaan wrote:

You know what would be kind of neat? If, in the future, publishers put the effort into a decent online manual or general online information “hub” for a game and had one of those QR codes on the back of the box linking to it.


You could point a mobile phone or iPhone or maybe a PSP2 or 3DS at the thing and it could take you online to the hub, effectively giving you an easily accessible and detailed online manual at your fingers. Say you see a game at a store, but you have no idea what the hell it is. BAM! QR code on the back of the box links to a website (or bunch of sites or Wiki or hub or whatever) where you can find the info you need!


It would great for something like a Monster Hunter game where there’s just so much information to digest. It may not be feasible now, but as portable tech gets more advanced and people get more used to the idea of QR, it would be a fun little service to offer your users. :)


Andre wrote:

I sometimes wish that the game box had a better description on what a game is about or how it is played. Every so often I look at older games that wouldn’t put a dent in my wallet, read the back cover thinking it looked good and bought it. Sometimes the game is like what the box said it would be but other times its a stinker.


Anton wrote:

As far as box art goes, I find most boxes to be too cluttered. Thinking back on most of my old NES games, they had awesome art on the cover and then several screens on the back with some game description. To me, that’s great. But, as gaming evolved, now they have to list so much information on the packaging.


How players does the game support, what are the graphic and sound outputs, how much memory does a save file use, is online supported, what’s the rating on the game, etc. It’s too much!


What’s your outlook on game boxes? Are they fine the way they are or is do you feel there’s a way to improve them and maybe make them a little more practically functional or appealing?

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Image of Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.