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[Column] General: Do Graphics Matter?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe CitadelPosts: 23,008MMORPG.COM Staff Epic

In an increasingly crowded market, game makers are looking for the way to hook the most players. Graphics have become a standard of sorts in that effort. But, in the end, do they really matter? Find out in our latest Pokket Says and then leave your thoughts in the comments.

Over time, the graphics in video games have evolved, that’s for sure. But one question on a lot of people’s minds is: Do they matter? Do they matter as much as good gameplay? Well, I know that isn’t the easiest question to answer with a solid “yes” or “no.” I do, however, believe they matter more than most gamers, especially the “hardcore” gamers, are willing to admit.

Read more of Hillary Nicole's Pokket Says: Do Graphics Matter?




  • InFlamestwoInFlamestwo HindPosts: 662Member
    Yes it matters unless the gameplay is superb like in many old games.


  • DauzqulDauzqul Detroit, MIPosts: 1,526Member Uncommon
    They do matter to an extent. It doesn't have to look insane, yet shouldn't look like it's extremely dated.
    4ft Gaming Mouse Pad -
  • orbitxoorbitxo fort lauderdale, FLPosts: 1,882Member Rare

    for me-yes-iam a graphic designer!-details details details!!

    for some friends -no.-they are coders.

    -go figure. apple dosent fall too far from the tree.

  • TalonsinTalonsin Posts: 3,047Member Epic
    They matter enough to get me to take a look at a game for at least a month.  I tried Tera simply due to the beautiful screenshots that players were posting.
    "Sean (Murray) saying MP will be in the game is not remotely close to evidence that at the point of purchase people thought there was MP in the game."  - SEANMCAD

  • someforumguysomeforumguy HomePosts: 3,700Member Uncommon
    For many it doesn't. Many ppl play Minecraft without any texture pack. Just take a look at Minecraft screenshots or vids and wonder why so many people love that game. Definately not for the graphics anyway.
  • NephaeriusNephaerius Posts: 1,671Member Uncommon
    Yes, but they're no replacement for good gameplay.  Some combo of the both is needed for myself.

    Steam: Neph

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 8,167Member Rare

    In the MMO market, graphics are not the be all end all.  Many of us look at gameplay and/or the systems embedded in the game.  I really get a chuckle when someone knocks a MMO game's graphics, it immediately tells me that they are not a true MMO player, but someone migrating over from console games or new to the genre.

    To give you an example, take Asheron's Call, very graphics dated, yet still a great game, I still go back and play it sometimes.  Then take a game like SWTOR, fantastic graphics, great lore, amazing vocals and cut scenes.  Yet the game had no magic, nothing pulling me back to the game again and again.  

    You can easily use Wow as an example too, as the graphics are nothing to speak of, yet it is the top game in the market.

    Good article Pokket

  • DrolkinDrolkin Palio, NBPosts: 246Member Uncommon
    The average gamer will buy a game based purely upon looks?  Source?
  • coretex666coretex666 PraguePosts: 2,973Member Rare

    Graphics matter. However, in MMO it is not as important as in FPS.

    I am not choosing my MMO based on graphics. It is more of a benefit if it looks nice.

    For me, game mechanisms > graphics.

  • MawneeMawnee Spring Hill, FLPosts: 227Member Uncommon
    Why does everyone always discuss this subject like it has to be one or the other? I want BOTH!
  • wordizwordiz Eugene, ORPosts: 464Member
    In any game more graphics = less content, this is especially true for MMO's. This is why they all suck now a days.
  • ArakaneArakane Pittsburgh, PAPosts: 204Member Uncommon
    yes, graphics matter however, they are only part of the equation, great graphics alone does not a great game make,lol.
  • bbbb42bbbb42 none, FLPosts: 297Member Uncommon
    Of course they do the important part  when designing a game is finding a balance . You cant blow all your cash on animations and graphics if you do, you end up like Tera nice looking but no depth ,because most of the budget went to graphics

  • VhalnVhaln Chicago, ILPosts: 3,159Member
    Originally posted by wordiz
    In any game more graphics = less content, this is especially true for MMO's. This is why they all suck now a days.  


    This is true, because resources have to be used in making those graphics, instead of making more gameplay, unless a developer has unlimited resources - which they never do, of course.


    Another thing though, is that the more elaborate the textures and models are, the less flexible they become.  It can be more difficult to make them customizable or modular, which limits a lot of what can be done in a game.  Devs need to make all sorts of sacrifices, like that.

    When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  • LeiloniLeiloni PhiladelphiaPosts: 911Member Rare
    Games need to have a good balance of both. I find it hard to get into a new game if it doesn't have decently good graphics, which today is not hard to do honestly, but it needs to have fun gameplay to keep me around.
  • BadSpockBadSpock Somewhere, MIPosts: 7,974Member

    Gameplay > all else, but if a game (MMO) is asking me to play for an extended period of time (months/years) and especially if I am being asked to pay for that time then the game better not have bland, uninteresting visuals.

    Style > all else, polys and pixels don't matter as much as immersion.

  • AlthewiseguyAlthewiseguy DumfriesPosts: 108Member
    Graphics are only good if the gameplay is enhanced by it. They don't make a game itself. Sadly it's far easier for developers to make high graphics titles that lack content nowadays than actually well thought out gameplay mechanics.
  • ZekiahZekiah Posts: 2,483Member Uncommon
    Gameplay > Graphics

    "Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever." - Noam Chomsky

  • CheboyganCheboygan charlotte, MIPosts: 36Member

    too many people spend 100s of dollars on graphics cards for your subject not to matter

    i consider myself a graphics whore so yes it really does matter

    but gameplay mechanics don't need to suffer because of superb graphics - bad devs/publishers might beg to differ but......................

  • WhiteLanternWhiteLantern Nevada, MOPosts: 2,712Member Uncommon
    Yes, graphics matter. In the same sense that purple is my favorite color. Each of us will determine for ourselves what constitues "good" graphics. See: WoW.

    I want a mmorpg where people have gone through misery, have gone through school stuff and actually have had sex even. -sagil

  • pressedNutzpressedNutz Victoria, BCPosts: 36Member

    You need both to be successful. If the engine is not up to modern standard the art style has to compensate for an audience to give it more than a second look.

    If the gameplay is rubbish no one will play it for more than 10 minutes.

    Still I jump at pretty graphics faster than a review of good gameplay simply because many reviewers seem to have no idea what they are talking about or are lying for the payola.

  • TheocritusTheocritus Gary, INPosts: 5,012Member Rare
           I would say that in many years of gaming that the graphics only bothered me a couple of times.....On a scale of 1 to 10 I'd rate graphics about a 3 in importance.
  • DAS1337DAS1337 Posts: 2,515Member Uncommon

    In short.


    Fun is a pre-requisite to any effect other mechanics may have on the game.


    If it is not fun, it doesn't matter.  It's not easy to make fun games.

  • YamotaYamota LondonPosts: 6,593Member Uncommon

    League of Legends looks great. GFX alone is not what decides how good a game looks but also artstyle, aesthetics etc. and LoL has excellent aesthetics and art style.

    Beside that I agree with the article. GFX, or rather "looks" matters, but not at the expense of gameplay,

  • FearumFearum Cinnaminson, NJPosts: 1,165Member Uncommon
    Graphics alone will not hold me to a game, but with each new game that comes out I expect to see an improvement in the graphics. I also need some depth behind them with the story, gameplay, combat and other mechanics of the game. Also art style has alot to do with which games I tend to look at, if a games art style looks very childish or cartoonish I tend to not really get involved with it. It may have the greatest gameplay ever, but if you have to be a unicorn, little girl, pokemon, panda or something like that I have no problem waiting for the next game.
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