Pre-order bonuses and deluxe edition games are a fad that caught on years ago, but studios and publishers have become particularly fond of the little throw-ins and bonuses in recent years. Everything from character figures to posters, art books to developer diaries, and even pillowcases to boxer shorts (Catherine’s Love is Over edition, anyone?) can be found amidst the tempting bundles, and they can be owned for little more than throwing an extra $20 at your favorite games. These trinkets are all well and good, and I hope to see the quality of deluxe editions improve in the next generation, but I’ve recently stumbled upon a unique form of video game merchandise in the form of City Prints Map Art’s pop-culture section.
Here’s some information for the uninformed: City Prints specializes in producing top-down images of area layouts. That same method of replication has been applied to several popular game realms, and the results are certainly something to see. Check out the links below to find out for yourself:
- Fans of Altair can get their artistic fix by way of a unique overview of Assassin Creed’s iconic city, Acre
- Batman connoisseurs and newly-recruited Arkham fans can have Gotham City in all its glory on their walls:
- Grand Theft Auto’s very own Vice City in 2D-overview glory:
- See every last nook and cranny of Resident Evil’s Raccoon City in a single print:
- See the Citadel of Bioware’s Mass Effect franchise layer by layer:
That’s but a small handful of what the creator has to offer, but you get the point. City Prints has taken a refreshingly artistic approach to video game merchandise, and it has created a line of unique wall art as a result. Of course, I’m here to do more than just dote on City Prints. True, I am quite taken with the maps myself (and I imagine that quite a few gaming fathers would love to open their own this coming Father’s Day), but there’s a less obvious value to the map art in the form of its commentary on video games as an art form, and its relevance in other mediums.
That video games are now being applied to other visual mediums such as paintings and the aforementioned figures and art books is a positive development, as it will help secure their place as a credible medium. Sure, the games industry has clearly made itself known in the entertainment world, but it does not yet rival the film or print industries in most eyes (despite the fact that it brings in more money than the film industry). However, multi-faceted companies like City Prints have clearly taken an interest in video games and have dubbed them a viable market. With any luck, we’ll see this trend adopted by even more manufacturers.