Beyond: Two Souls developer Quantic Dream is claiming that a marketing agency wanted them to use an image of the game’s female star, Ellen Page, holding a gun as the title’s box art. The studio apparently refused on the grounds that such an image would not accurately represent the game’s actual content.
“Yes, and we categorically refused it,” Beyond: Two Souls executive producer Guillaume de Fondaumière told GameSpot when asked if anyone had pitched the idea of a gun carrying Ellen Page for the cover. “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? Okay, 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.”
“We have to be very careful,” Fondaumière explained. “We’re working closely with the marketing folks at Sony to portray the game in the right light, to be able to talk to that diverse audience that we hope we will be able to reach with Beyond.”
“Indeed, there is some action in Beyond. But if we, for instance, put a pack art that’s solely featuring action, first of all it’s not going to be truthful to what the game is and then, your wife for instance, is not going to feel attracted to this. She’ll say ‘ok, well that’s not unique, it’s one of your video games’.”
I suppose that Quantic Dream deserves a pat on the back for deciding not to be dishonest with their Beyond: Two Souls box art, but I can’t help but notice a disturbing trend with some of these Sony exclusive titles. There seems to be a pattern emerging where some unnamed marketing person suggests something outlandish regarding a female character in the game — like when Naught Dog was asked to move Ellie off The Last of Us‘ cover last year – and the developer makes a big public show of refusing to go along with it.
It seems to me that Sony needs to either take a good hard look at who they are hiring for marketing their games, or the actual absurd request and heroic developer response are just a staged part of the marketing plan.
At any rate, Sony has released about four minutes of new gameplay footage from Beyond: Two Souls, which you can check out in the embedded video below. Take a peek and then make sure to let us know your thoughts down in the comment section.