When you try to sell a game, you have to figure that there will be a certain number of people who will buy it indiscriminately upon release - that's the built-in fanbase (aka fanboys/fanbois). Then there will be those who hear its praise and decide to buy it. Then there are those who haven't heard of it at all, and who chance upon it at the store. At this point, the box is the only way to sell the game to the customer.
Thus it's pretty darn important to get the box art to get people's attention!
That brings us to - a preview of this Thursday's Rise of Flight blog! Choy, the art director for Rise of Flight, was kind enough to give us a look at some of the early stages of drawing cover art. He reveals that they have opted to make the cover resemble traditional airplane model boxes, which are hand-painted. In the case of Rise of Flight, the artist is Denis Podgorniy, who's the man behind these preliminary sketches:
If I read Choy's post correctly, we should see some more progress with the box art this Thursday, possibly even the final product! Or is it next Thursday he's referring to?...
(via FlyRetired at SimHQ forums, Rise of Flight blog)