I. "Sex sells" and the altered Cover Art
In January 1993 nobody was talking about Arena and in magazines you can't find any direct hint to the game. However in an article in Computer Gaming World you can see Ken Mayfield (Bethsoft's lead artist in these days) drawing a suspicious artwork.
On the picture you can see a woman dressed like a gladiatrix. Since Bethesda was only working on Delta V (A space simulation) and a Terminator game, the concept art can only belong to Arena. This example shows one of the marketing strategies bethsda is planning to use for Arena: Boobs. An article on Gamasutra.com discusses the cover of CGW issue 12/93, which shows the arena box cover, in very much detail. The cover shows the well known Arena box cover, that we will analyze in more detail now. In mid August 1993 Bethsoft published a slideshow that contains a promotional version of the cover art, that is dated to Mai 27th 1993. When comparing this picture to the retail version, you will notice some things:
First you'll see the images are mirrored (for better comparison I mirrored one, to make them both the same direction). You'll also see some more differences:
- The hand of the woman is slightly edited
- The Helm of the Barbarian is completely different
- The Barbarian has different shoulders
- The gem in the middle of the wizard's necklace is different
- A little ring at the neck of the legionaire has been removed
- The background is different
But the topic of hot women takes no end. Everybody knows that prostitues were planned for Daggerfall, but a screenshot from May 20th 1993 indicates the same for Arena.
The Global.bsa features some sprites titled as "babe"...
(I couldn't convert them, yet, but the name says everything)
Another screenshot from May 20 shows a slave market featuring a nearly naked woman. (bottom left)
The first screenshot showing a character is dated to May 25, 1993:
Eye catcher of the picture is the beautiful Woodelf woman named Jehanna Khel. The name Jehanna may be a reference to the city Jehanna that is described as following in the old datafiles of Arena:
"Jehanna, a city as beautiful as her name."