Do graphics attract more players, or is a great gameplay experience more important?
It’s a solid question for debate in the games industry, but we feel our answer is pretty defensible. Appealing graphics attract more players to a new game. Before we set ablaze the “8-bit loving” retro gamers, let’s be clear: We aren’t necessarily talking about achieving breathtakingly realistic graphics. While Crysis and other games have really set the bar high over the past decade; we find that games with an particularly refreshing or especially unique style can really get the best buzz going and grow an audience. Games like LIMBO, Castle Crashers, Okami [and yes Crysis] have achieved this benchmark and have each gotten gamers flocking in large part because they wrap their golden layers of great gameplay with stunning visuals.
A quick review of the App Store supports this statement even further as most of us will quickly audit a potential purchase by scrolling to the end of the info page to peep at the screenshots. A legitimately fun game will be hindered if it is tasseled to a boring set of screenshots on the info page.
Without quality game design, even the prettiest games go in the trash bin after a few hours of play. Many graphically amazing games suffer from an awesomeness that is only skin deep. Those same titles mentioned above would not have retained their audience if there wasn’t substance under the surface.
We always push ourselves to capture both.