1up has up a piece looking at the good and bad of gaming boxart. They cover some history of the art form, why things tend to change when they move from East to West, and some notables among the boxes of the past twenty-five-odd years. From the article: "After the American console market crashed in the early '80s, it was up to Japanese companies like Sega and Nintendo to pick up the slack. However, the cover artwork for many Japanese publishers' early games seemed to be lost in translation. The first generation of Nintendo Entertainment System cartridges were little more than enlarged screenshots showing off the main characters in all their pixelated glory. Sega Master System games were even worse: a plain grid on a barren white background, complete with a single, low-quality image." Relatedly, GameDaily is running an article on the history of game marketing, which I thought dovetailed nicely with this somewhat less serious examination of the subject.
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