Metal Cover: How Brutal Legend landed in mainstream media

Released this week, Double Fine Productions' has won over more than just gaming critics. It also landed on the cover of one of the Bay Area's biggest weekly newspapers. I got the chance to chat with Tim Schafer and the man who penned his SF Bay Guardian bio about how it all came together.

San Francisco Bay Area gamers woke up to a metal treat on Wednesday morning. The recently-released Brutal Legend had landed on the cover of popular weekly newspaper the . The SFBG, which boasts a circulation of over 106,000 copies a week (according to the ), beating out the other major weekly in San Francisco, the by roughly 5,000 readers.

Both the Bay Guardian and SF Weekly typically focus on San Francisco's vibrant art, music, and nightlife--this week, for example, was the SF Weekly's annual music awards issue--but the Bay Guardian decided to choose a video game for the cover of its latest issue.

Brutal Legend's wide range of cultural significance may have played a large role in getting on the cover. Mixing motifs from almost every form of popular media, the game, which celebrates heavy metal music, stars popular movie actor Jack Black as the roadie action hero Eddie Riggs in a world filled with imagery created by comic book artist and Double Fine Production Designer Scott Campbell.

Even though the game had received plenty of gaming press, landing on the covers of , , and in the US alone (see the covers on GameSetWatch , , and , respectively). Brutal Legend has also had plenty of mainstream media exposure due to late night talk show coverage on both and , the fevered pitch about the had not spread to traditional print. When asked if this was the first time Tim Schafer, Double Fine, or any of their games had made the cover of a non-gaming magazine, Schafer stated "I think so. Unless you count People's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue."

The article's author, Ben Richardson, who began his employment at the Bay Guardian as an intern for the music section before moving onto game coverage, explained the need for traditional print to reach out to video games and its enthusiasts.