Ugly Video Game Cover #7: Pro Wrestling

So here’s what probably happened here, Sega was working on developing what they considered “the greatest wrestling game the Sega Master System has ever seen in the world of wrestling.” They had developers working around the clock some of them went days without eating, some hospitalized for exhaustion and for one guy, death. The time was 3:17 a.m. and the game was finally done. Champagne bottles popping left and right, in fact they went all out and broke out the Cristal. Confetti. Parades. TV coverage. It was crazy.

They had Boris Vallejo come in and create this amazing painting for the cover with dudes wrestling dragons and tigers, blood was spraying everywhere and dudes were beheaded and impaled on these rusty spikes in the background. It was sick and everyone loved it. Unfortunately they only had one copy of the painting and after a night of post-game-wrap-up partying, it was accidentally set on fire after some drunk guy peed on it and dropped a cutting torch on the frame. Everyone was freaking out because the game had to go to the printers in the morning so in a drunken scramble they tried to recreate the Boris Vallejo art on a napkin from a strip club, shoved it in a ziploc bag with the game and turned it in.

Sales were poor and the dude who destroyed the original art was nearly stoned to death outside of his apartment by an angry mob. Sega nearly went bankrupt and top executives were fired, most of them saying the same thing, “Pro Wrestling would have sold millions if we had the original artwork.”

Or maybe it was just drawing of a decapitated wrestler putting his own head in a headlock that the producer’s teenage son had scrawled on page 48 of the book for his Biology book. Everyone thought that since a kid drew it kids would naturally love seeing it on the cover of a video game and would rob their parents just to get the cash to buy the game. It would be that awesome.