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

Developer Quantic Dream says it has to be "careful" in how it presents its game to its potential audience.

Quantic Dream "categorically refused" an idea that upcoming supernatural adventure Beyond: Two Souls should feature star Ellen Page holding a gun as its cover art.

Speaking to GameSpot, Quantic Dream co-founder and executive producer Guillaume de Fondaumière admitted that the studio needed to be careful in how it chooses to present its game to a wide audience.

"We have to be very careful," said Fondaumière. "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."

Like the studio's previous title Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls is a narrative-led adventure that attempts to explore complex themes. But Beyond, which features elements of the supernatural and science fiction, features more action-heavy scenes than Heavy Rain.

"Indeed, there is some action in Beyond," continued Fondaumière. "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.'"

"So yes, we need to be careful and to make sure that whenever we communicate on this game, whenever we market it, that we manage to get across this variety in themes and this uniqueness that the project beholds."

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? 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."

As with Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream's desire for Beyond: Two Souls is to reach a mature audience that might not be particularly interested in traditional AAA games. "Most people I know that are above 35 years old, do not play [games]," said Fondaumière. "Women around me don't play, or seldom play, or play very specific games. I think it's an important moment in the industry as a whole; it's the moment where we need to define precisely who we want to appeal to."

"We always thought at Quantic that was a potential for reaching out to a larger audience, and not only target the core gamers, or only a male audience. That we can be a little bit more open. And with Beyond we are hoping that it will appeal, for instance, to women. Because of the themes that we have that are similar to what women like in certain TV series, or watching certain movies, for instance, or reading certain books."

Recently, BioShock Infinite creative director Ken Levine likened the decision to feature protagonist Booker DeWitt holding a gun on BioShock Infinite's box art as salad dressing.

"Our gaming world, we sometimes forget, is so important to us," said Levine at the time, "but… there are plenty of products that I buy that I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about. My salad dressing. If there’s a new salad dressing coming out, I would have no idea," he continued. "I use salad dressing; I don’t read Salad Dressing Weekly. I don’t care who makes it, I don’t know any of the personalities in the salad dressing business. For some people, [games are] like salad dressing. Or movies, or TV shows. It was definitely a reality check for us."

Beyond: Two Souls will be released for PlayStation 3 on October 8.

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Discussion

98 comments
02050muh
02050muh

i LOL at 'your wife said'

jamesbigmac
jamesbigmac

I think based on the emotional purpose of this game, it would be much more intelligent to have a weapon lying on the ground with a concerned look on her face, and some representation of Aiden over her shoulder.

Hurvl
Hurvl

Damn, that's the largest amount of clothes I've seen on a girl in a videogame - ever! It still being winter in my country, I can relate to her just by seeing that picture. She's also not as cute there as in other pictures, which enhances the reality and grim environment, by not having her look straight-out-of-beauty-parlor fresh. It looks like she has more important stuff to worry about.

megaspiderweb09
megaspiderweb09

Having two top hollywood actors in the game should be good enough to market the game. I mean Ellen Page and Will Dafoe, it doesnt get any better than that for a video game lol

kaka7023
kaka7023

Man, it seems like they are packing a lot of stuff in one game... Judging by this video, it seems like Beyond: Two Souls has Action, Suspense, drama and a little bit of horror thrown in there. Can't wait!

Gue1
Gue1

true. If they put Ellen with a gun on the cover the dude-bros will think it's an action game and it's better to not deceive the poor bastards.

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

i don't really care about the cover, i just care about the game. This is on the top of the list of my most wanted game.

wyan_
wyan_

He's right. It should be an airsoft pistol that looks exactly like a real gun.

Thyasianman
Thyasianman

I started watching the first minute of the video, butI don't want to spoil any of the details of the game. All I can say is that the first minute has definitely got my attention. This is the third most anticipated title of 2013: GTA V, The Last of Us, Beyond: Two souls, and Bioshock Infinite.

kratospete
kratospete

maybe Ellen gets an Oscar nomination for her "role" in the game ..that s gonna be interesting

Saketume
Saketume

They should worry more about having Ellen Page in the game. That fact alone guarantees that I'll never buy it.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

Doesn't she have superpowers in the game?  Why would she need a gun anyway?

Hey_Jay
Hey_Jay

Can someone do Ken Levine a favour and introduce him to David Cage?

kik4444
kik4444

The items which you put in the cover are supposed to simbolize that you're gonna be using those kinds of items a lot in the game and since guns are not the game's focus, there's no point in putting them in the cover

wavelength121
wavelength121

How about showing on the box what you'll actually be doing in the game? You know, what the purpose of box art is for

Apastron
Apastron

How about Ellen Page frowning at a script, a thought bubble above her head reading, "I see you've still not sorted the mediocre dialogue yet"?

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Some devs and pubs play close attention and actually care.  I like that.

Whereas, other companies such as THQ didn't pay attention to the details, and look what it got them.  There's a lesson here.

Rizer
Rizer

The gun thing is a pretty silly thing to be concerned about since that's not really what the game's focus appears to be anyway. The games seems to be about the hard ships of a young women with a supernatural connection, so even if there where guns in the story, putting the gun on the cover looks more like a side note anyway. This cover would make more sense to me in that case.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

the "chosen" cover looks good but I still say it is sexist, most of the time it is a male on the cover wielding a firearm......

kik4444
kik4444

She looks like she has a cold in that picture!

mateyman
mateyman

Done right, a gun toting cover could have been good, but I think what they chose looks a lot better.

Jyakotu
Jyakotu

The current cover art actually looks cool, IMO. It's mysterious, dark, and definitely fits the theme of Beyond.

vadagar1
vadagar1

dafq did my comment go????

endorbr
endorbr

All this mulling over cover art by publishers and developers these days.  Well you know what?  Gamers care about what's inside the box, not on the cover art.

metalgrinch
metalgrinch

Honestly a cover with her holding a gun would look kinda silly, I love the cover art the way they have it now, I say they keep it that way. As long as they aren't censoring stuff in the actual game, the cover not having a gun is no big deal. They are right, a gun-toting cover may sway certain buyers

NTM23
NTM23

That picture above reminds me of two things, first off, in their first game (Indigo Prophecy) you can play a guitar, and the second thing is that in Juno, Ellen Page plays the guitar. Yes, that has little to do with anything here, but I just wanted to say that 'cause it was on my mind :P.

kaka7023
kaka7023

@Saketume It's the other way around for me. Having Ellen Page in the game, will guarantee that I'll buy the game. :p

R3V3RS3D
R3V3RS3D

@Saketume I remember saying the same thing (in these forums, actually!) when I saw her involvement.  I don't know why.  I just really don't want to have anything to do with her.  Inception?  Loved it!  Hated her in it, though.  Maybe I'm just a lame.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@Jedilink109Because "otherwise it's not even a game" as stated above, lol. Yeah, FIFA and other sports games sell millions, but they're not games since there are no guns in them. Although, I have to admit that I rarely buy a game that doesn't include a gun or any other weapons and particularly enjoy games with multiple ways of killing others. I never judge a game by its box art, but just commenting here sets me apart from others, people who look at a game and goes "Guns, cool!" and buys it/asks parents to buy it.

KimCheeWarriorX
KimCheeWarriorX

@kik4444 i wish they used ellen page's pic because id be "using" ellen page, if you know what i mean...uhhhhh huh huh :P

maitkarro
maitkarro

@wavelength121 If they would do that, image would be more of a scramble of multitude pictures, if you played Heavy Rain you would know that. Also it has to show the game as a whole not some specific stuff in there.

Frrekcelt
Frrekcelt

@mateyman I think I like the bow better ;). Crystal Dynamics did a marvelous work here! I mean SE.....

NTM23
NTM23

@vadagar1 It's Livefyre, don't worry, you're not the only one. I had it happen to me a few months ago, where many of my comments were getting erased; I thought it was someone censoring my comments for some reason, but that's not it. I've also been seeing quite a few comments like yours.

Falzonn
Falzonn

@endorbr Don't say that!  Or we'll end up with covers worse than sci-fi or fantasy novels!  Or worse yet... romance novels *shivers*.  I get embarrassed enough carrying certain novels up to the cashier as it is.  Everytime I almost feel like I have to tell the cashier, "It's not what you think! The book isn't nearly as bad as this cover looks.  Honest!  Don't judge me!"  XD

Saketume
Saketume

@96augment

I consider myself a very good judge of character and every fiber in my body says she's a little B!¤%# and that I should punch her in her face. Of course I wouldn't... but all my instincts agree that it would be for the best. Something similar happens whenever I see "Urkel". Only she's real and Urkel is just fiction.

It's like Spider-Man and his spidey-sense except maybe more of a monkey-sense in my case ...or common-sense. Whatever, I don't like her. She's evil me tells ya.

JJB03
JJB03

@maitkarro @wavelength121 The box art should just give a taste of what kind of game it is, its mood or its atmosphere mostly, if it should what you would be doing it would be just over kill for most games and give away any surprises in the game 

Saketume
Saketume

@NTM23 @vadagar1 Things get especially messed up if you start editing your own comments.

Never ever edit the same comment twice.

maitkarro
maitkarro

@Saketume @JJB03 @maitkarro But he is exactly saying that, what will he be doing in this game. A box art should be just a well a cover, it doesn't show anything specific, but the whole, nothing spoilery, just so you get a taste of it without knowing how it will work out.

Saketume
Saketume

@JJB03 @maitkarro

You two should realize he most likely didn't mean the cover should show how to solve the games puzzles or what boss fights there are.

I'm sure he meant that it should give a general idea of what type of game it is.

Apparently this game is Guitar Hero the emo edition