Why did PAL games get better covers than NTSC-U/C?

Marc_78065

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Does anyone know the reason for this oddity?

Here are some examples (EUR - USA).

Timesplitters2.JPG
41D48NS0GNL.jpg

s-l640.png
XIII.jpg

Spdbz_cover_pal.jpg
Super_Dragon_Ball_Z_Coverart.png

The PAL game covers looked more like games whereas the NTSC covers had a different feel to them, like they weren't made by someone who appreciated video games.
 

FAST6191

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Some of those are going to be subjective calls.

Your three main answers are going to be copyright issues, parallel development and marketing department.

I don't imagine there will be too many copyright issues with covers (might see a name trademark issue -- Resident Evil vs Biohazard) but you will find it for a lot of other things like music, featured characters, in game advertising/rights clearances, likenesses and voice work. Anyway if a dev/pub failed to clear the artist's work for use in North America you might have been forced to make another.

Parallel development. Not so many Japanese-German translators in the US and Canada. Plenty in Europe, also translators and voice actors that speak UK English. To that end you might have had the same game translated twice by both European and US/Canada divisions of companies.
That might have necessitated a different set of boxart if both were happening at different times. One maybe picking the boring and basic CGI where another goes for real art.

Marketing department has a few aspects, I will try not to be too cynical though (I generally think marketing and advertising people are viable candidates to shoot on sight).
What colours do people like? It is generally noted that US peeps like super saturated colours where UK types prefer rather less saturated efforts. Can be as simple as that.
Tastes. Stereotypically US types will be happy enough with the media for kids resembling a John Wick film (though I suppose it is fairly true to life) where most of Europe might question that, however show a female nipple and... I am sure we all remember that superbowl thing where you might see such a thing in an normal hours advert for bodywash in non English speaking Europe at least. Swearing tends to be for Japan if you want the equivalent there. Less of a thing now but post World War 2 Japanese - US relations were interesting compared to Japan-Europe so having some nice kanji on your artwork could be tricky. Ripped from the headlines can also apply depending upon where you are (usually see this more in music, especially if it is anti war or anti politician)
Consumer survey/my gut as an advertising executive says... whether this speaks to people thinking others are, possibly with justification, idiots also comes into play.

Also relevant, he has a few others on similar topics as well
 

CoolMe

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This has been a topic of discussion before (i think there's a YT video about it).. Now this started to become really noticeable from the PS1 up to PS2 era games, times it's due to companies try to cater to different markets and their tastes in what would look cool/sell etc. So, the US folks would buy into the alpha male/ macho man and/or masculine-type dude on the cover, with it (they think) the game has a better chance to sell than with its original cover, and fear if it doesn't it won't grab the targeted demographic's attention, and it'll sell less in result, so a big no-no for game companies. While Europe folks most of the time try to go with the original artistic design choice (specially for Japanese-made games) from the game developers, and try to favor art & simplicity..
Oh, and here's an MJR video about it:

And this:
 
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duwen

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For the most part, Japan usually has the better box art if it's a game that originated there... but there are exceptions. I can think of NA box art that I prefer over the JPN or EU versions, and similarly EU box art that I prefer over NA and JPN versions.
There's also that weird territory where the same title in the same region has better box art on a different platform; PS vs Saturn, etc.
 

Marc_78065

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For the most part, Japan usually has the better box art if it's a game that originated there... but there are exceptions. I can think of NA box art that I prefer over the JPN or EU versions, and similarly EU box art that I prefer over NA and JPN versions.
There's also that weird territory where the same title in the same region has better box art on a different platform; PS vs Saturn, etc.
I've downloaded Saturn games to test on PS4, and I'd forgotten how bad the U.S. covers were.

It looked moreso like a TV/Movie live action cover than a video game cover. Dreamcast suffered from it, too.

54585--virtua-tennis.png


iMachgo.jpg


The EUR cover was reminiscent of what a game cover is supposed to look like, colorful, simplistic, and saying "Dreamcast" in blue at the top was a nice touch.
 

Marc_78065

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This has been a topic of discussion before (i think there's a YT video about it).. Now this started to become really noticeable from the PS1 up to PS2 era games, times it's due to companies try to cater to different markets and their tastes in what would look cool/sell etc. So, the US folks would buy into the alpha male/ macho man and/or masculine-type dude on the cover, with it (they think) the game has a better chance to sell than with its original cover, and fear if it doesn't it won't grab the targeted demographic's attention, and it'll sell less in result, so a big no-no for game companies. While Europe folks most of the time try to go with the original artistic design choice (specially for Japanese-made games) from the game developers, and try to favor art & simplicity..
Oh, and here's an MJR video about it:

And this:
Watched those videos a while ago and it was somewhat insufferable because of the woman's feedback. All she'd ever say was "action-y," "cartoon-y," etc. Nothing of value.
Because the games were running worse on the 50hz TVs so at least we had to at least have better covers
They were for a different market, but yeah, games there did run inferior.

During the DC/PS2 era they finally started offering "PAL 60" which should've been there the whole friggin' time than playing a slow ass version.

Tekken 3 PAL was like they were fighting in space.
 
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LightBeam

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During the DC/PS2 era they finally started offering "PAL 60" which should've been there the whole friggin' time than playing a slow ass version.

Tekken 3 PAL was like they were fighting in space.
Yeah I remember PS2 games like Burnout Revenge/3 would ask me if I wanted the game to run at 50hz or 60hz, I was too young to understand what that was but I just knew 60hz wasn't working so I would stick to 50hz but I guess that some people would start having 60hz TVs in Europe so having the option was great, I don't remember games being slow so I guess that they were adapted at that moment
 

Marc_78065

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Yeah I remember PS2 games like Burnout Revenge/3 would ask me if I wanted the game to run at 50hz or 60hz, I was too young to understand what that was but I just knew 60hz wasn't working so I would stick to 50hz but I guess that some people would start having 60hz TVs in Europe so having the option was great, I don't remember games being slow so I guess that they were adapted at that moment
Sonic on the Genesis PAL (called the Mega Drive) is possibly the worst, slowest game one can show just to see how bad it was.

 
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