I've been thinking that perhaps a good-looking RPG cover isn't as important as it once was. While I enjoy companies who seem to put a lot into a snazzy-looking front cover (such as Palladium and Paizo), with the decline of brick-and-mortar stores, is the eye-grab factor weigh in as much as it used to?
That's a question that I'm certain publishers could back up better than I could, but it did get me thinking about RPG covers I really admired. I remember as an ENnies judge last year, there was a bit of a stink because the Thousand Suns cover was nominated for an award, but it was revealed the image used was stock art. My reply was, "well, it must have been the right stock art".
Point being, there doesn't seem to be a need for a celebrity artist or certain type of cover art
for me--I like tasteful, muted covers while same consistency I like loud, frenzied battle landscapes. Here's my list; see how it matches up to yours:
Some Covers I've Liked Over The Years:
AD&D 2e Player's Handbook
Rules Cyclopedia D&D
D&D 3.5 (yep, I liked the faux-tome look)
What are some of your favorite RPG covers? If you're a publisher, please feel free to weigh in: how much does a cover factor into one's sales?