Bethesda: People Who Say Graphics Don't Matter Are "Lying"

by Harry Monogenis, posted on 16 March 2011 / 5,583 Views

Bethesda's VP of Marketing, Pete Hines, has stated that good graphics in a game are important as it creates "a sense of immersion", and says that people who think otherwise are lying.

"There's a lot of people who say graphics don't matter. To them I usually say 'you're lying'," Hines said in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine via CVG.

"[People] will look at a screenshot and make a snap decision: 'that looks awesome', or 'I'm not interested'. So if you can make something look amazing just at first glance, it's so much easier to get them." Hines then said that The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the company's upcoming RPG, is "looking for the best sense of immersion you can get".

Skyrim is scheduled for a release date of November 11th 2011.


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50 Comments

Chrizum (on 18 March 2011)

Ofcourse graphics matter but there is much more to graphics than resolution and polygons. Most developers forget that (Bethesda included).


Dubstepit (on 17 March 2011)

It's all true. Graphics do matter. I tried to get into Final Fantasy 9 the other day. But the graphics are so horrible, I just couldn't play it. Even though it's an amazing game, graphics killed it for me.


usrevenge (on 17 March 2011)

if graphics are all the matters Crysis would be the best selling game ever. if graphics matter so much why is PC gaming dead? its because graphics arn't as important as gameplay. this is why simple games ( pokemon, call of duty, mario) can outsell high end graphic games.


DonFerrari (on 17 March 2011)

And just to make a point, he didn't said the more real the better, it's the prettier the better... And a lot of people say that Wii disagree with him, people keep saying they love the look of Super Mario Galaxy 2, NSMBWii and the kind...


Hephaestos (on 17 March 2011)

marketing =/= game design. his reasoning is that the game is more appealing at first glance, it's not a designer's perspective's but an editor's.... and look there! VP of marketing, figures....


Dinges (on 17 March 2011)

I can't wait for the new generation consoles, since games are looking outdated compared to PC versions. Ironic that Bethesda says this, because Skyrim's graphics don't look that good. I know it's an very open world, so that's the reason they can't push the limits with the graphics, but still....


Ultr (on 17 March 2011)

Im 30h into pokemon black, I'm impressed by the graphics! It looks so real, could not believe it, especially after 15years of playing pokemon, the graphics have improved SO much! .....:)


ChichiriMuyo (on 17 March 2011)

He's wrong. Simple as that. I can't remember the last time I was sold on a game for how it looks, except in the case of sequels to games I'm already drawn to. I also can't remember ever coming across a game that sounds intriguing and saying to myself that I wouldn't play it because of the graphics alone. I like gameplay above all, and story or music will sell me on a game before the visuals. I in fact can't think of an aspect of game that's less important to me than how it looks. And if the very last criteria for considering a purchase is graphics, then they obviously don't matter to you. The userbases of the Wii and iPhone back me up pretty well on this one, too.


Ostro (on 17 March 2011)

Uhm, what? All that matters is how one personally defines "graphics" for himself/herself. That statement is utter ..... If you think "graphics" (as a broad term) stands for realism and a ton of tech to reflect it, ok. But I (and lots of others) don't care about that. As long as the game looks interesting (which is also "graphics" to me, since that defines the look of videogames (check Latin to see what Video means xD)) I will try to get more info on it and play it. Vague.


Tyrannical (on 17 March 2011)

I'd rather play a great game with OK graphics than an OK game with great graphics.


Chevinator123 (on 16 March 2011)

i agree with bethesda


KhinRunite (on 16 March 2011)

@IceHedge: He's simply saying that Graphics isn't "not important". If for you, Graphics is really unimportant then you are a MINORITY. He is indeed speaking for millions in this case: the MAJORITY. He isn't even saying they're only concentrating on Graphics. He said that it's easier to get people's attention if they're presented with amazing screenshot, which is true. What goes on after that is the usual research on gameplay, story, etc. BUT it remains true that the screenshots are the easiest tool to get mass attention.


IceHedge (on 16 March 2011)

I love when one person attempts to speak for millions. There are millions of gamers out there, and his response is 'you're lying,' to every single one of them? Now I know his exact words were 'usually,' but there are gamers out there like myself that don't hop onto the media hyping coal train and dig into every dish that's served us. Some of us are explorers and take to the longer yet arguably more interesting off-beaten path that is equally as fun as sticking with the media giants' railroads. Metaphoric comparison's aside, when I receive my Game Informer, the screenshots are entertaining for certain, but what I dig in and look for are the information about up and coming games, and the opinions and first impressions of those lucky journalists that have had time with any given title. I don't play games for graphics, and each genre I approach differently. I expect gameplay to be solid in any game, that's a given, but for instance, gameplay ranks lowest when I approach a RPG since I really don't care if it's turn-based, action, strategy, or hybrid. Count me in so long as it has interesting characters, an engaging story, and immersive music(Anti-example: repetitive, monotonous 20 second loops that plague most turn based games, I'm looking at you Dragon Warrior). Short answer: The Wii. Graphics apparently don't matter to an audience whos system that is just now declining in sales and evening out with its competition.


evilronnie42 (on 16 March 2011)

@graphics doesn't always mean realistic graphcis are important for any game which is why games like doom 2 looks just as a most arcade game these days, etc...


Runa216 (on 16 March 2011)

Ooooh, so this explains why I can go back and play Final Fantasy VI, VII, VIII, and IX without hesitation but the very thought of playing XIII again makes me gag a little... It's precisely this kind of attitude that has led to the decline in 'gameplay'. remember back in the SNES/Genesis days, reviews would have entire sections dedicated to controls and innovation, now people care more and more about presentation and less about innovation, creativity, or gaming quality. I can play anything I want from SNES and before and love every second of it, but modern games are so bland, samey, cookie cutter safe games, where the 'graphics' are really all that separate them. Yeah, graphics apparently matter, but not to real gamers. to real gamers they're just a small aspect of the gaming experience, perhaps the least important aspect.


Aiddon (on 16 March 2011)

this is what graphics should be used for: more diverse art styles. Stuff like Blazblue's gorgeous 2D sprites, MvC3's comic-book style, Vanillaware's lush backgrounds, and Madworld's unique black-and-white color palette would not be possible without some advanced processors and engines. However, REALISTIC graphics are, at best, USELESS now. They are no longer an indication of graphical power. Crysis 2, meh. Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, now you're talking


Gimgak (on 16 March 2011)

Console graphics are extremely outdated, you can't make a console game have current gen graphics lol.


naruball (on 16 March 2011)

I totally agree. Graphics don't matter at all. Though I'm puzzled on why people keep buying ps3s, 360s and so on. We all should embrace the old consoles. They are really cheap and I'm sure there are tons of great games you all haven't played yet. The gameplay is awesome, so let's all play old games. Oh wait... On a serious note. Graphics do matter in a game with good gameplay. Does he say that Graphics alone sell games? No!


goddog (on 16 March 2011)

they only matter to a point if the game still sucks to play it sucks to play.


cory.ok (on 16 March 2011)

the marketing VP says that graphics are important. of course they are to you, you have to market the game, but i dont so much care about them. if the graphics help the gameplay then alright, otherwise i dont care


jonager (on 16 March 2011)

yh only wii fans say graphics doesn't matter. i agree gameplay has to equally good , though


Zappykins (on 16 March 2011)

Yes, AND I think Sound! The graphics of Dragon Age: Origins, Halo: Reach, etc. are further enhanced by great voice over work - something Zelda: Twilight is missing. Good sound (the music in Super Mario Brothers Brawl) just enhances the experience.


ocean-1984 (on 16 March 2011)

Agree


Dr.Grass (on 16 March 2011)

I fully agree.


luiaots (on 16 March 2011)

So does this mean that all the fun I have playing ps2/ps1 titles and virtual console titles are lies? D: How do i live with myself?!? lol


Barozi (on 16 March 2011)

Of course he's right. Just think about the protests that would come up if the game looks and runs as mediocre as Oblivion on consoles.


bazmeistergen (on 16 March 2011)

*Looks at best selling games and sees Nintendo with their inferior graphics dominating the top 20* *Looks at Cooltown and does a Reggie shrug.*


tripleb2k (on 16 March 2011)

graphics are a major part of gaming these days. there is a MINORITY that don't care about graphics but the vast gaming majority wants good graphics. they're turned off by fugly, out of date models and details. this statement came out at just the right time with the Homefront debate as a hot topic. well played Bethesda


AngelosL (on 16 March 2011)

He has a point, but graphics isn't everything...Example: I played Symphony of the Night for the first time last year, and I consider it to be one of my favorite games.So, at least for me, graphics help but are not a major factor for playing a game.


TX109 (on 16 March 2011)

i dont think he is saying that graphics are what is most important, they certainly arent. he is saying they are not unimportant. graphics do matter to an extent, but i feel they sould take a back seat to gameplay... @Cooltown: so your saying that graphics alone sold all those games?


Cooltown (on 16 March 2011)

It's true. All those elitest hardcore gamers preach "gameplay > graphics, blah blah blah". Guess what you idiots, all the best selling games have the best graphics, period. Halo, COD, Uncharted, GTA, Red Dead, etc.


pastro243 (on 16 March 2011)

he is not saying its the most important thing as some posts seem to reflect. I agree with him.


GuiltySpartan77 (on 16 March 2011)

Lol this guy is lying Killzone is far ahead of halo in term of graphics but sells tons more than killzone. Why you ask? You could argue that Halo is more popular or the fact that halo was really the first FPS to revolutionize the way we play console shooters on home consoles. Either way graphics don't matter. And obviously this was just an example i could do the same thing with other titles.


YoshMaster (on 16 March 2011)

Guess I'm a liar.. I only care about the gameplay mechanics. Of course, I can like a graphic style better than another but it won't change if I play it or not. I like sprites over 3d ANYTIME of the week!


hagelt18 (on 16 March 2011)

To me there are two ways of looking at visuals whether its a video game or a traditional art piece. There is the technical quality of the visuals and then there is the creative aspect of the visuals. To me the creative aspect of visuals is important, not the technical quality. As an example...visually, the original Super Mario Bros is far more appealing than something like Madden 2010.


Zkuq (on 16 March 2011)

Graphics matter but they come far, far below things like gameplay. And immersion? How about making the world believable and lifelike instead of just realistic-looking?


vlad321 (on 16 March 2011)

Totally right, you have to get all the people who haven't learned that graphics don't mean jack shit to buy your game, then surprise them with shit gameplay! The trend of the gen it seems.


blunty51 (on 16 March 2011)

Well yea...but there are some cases for which it doesn't really matter.


NYANKS (on 16 March 2011)

He's right, this isn't a revelation. People do largely take it into account.


badgenome (on 16 March 2011)

I guess it is important that your game looks good in screenshots when the thing hangs or locks up every two goddamn seconds.


Nyeguy81 (on 16 March 2011)

call me a lyer to my face hines!


PullusPardus (on 16 March 2011)

it might matter as a marketing gimmick , and for screenshot whoring , but gameplay always been the most important thing to gamers, to me the sense of "Immersion" is better than graphics, and thats why i think Oblivion looked better than Fallout New Vegas.


Naum (on 16 March 2011)

only to a certain point, I would rather play a 40 hour game with PS2 graphics then a 10 hour game with PS3 graphics


pezus (on 16 March 2011)

Minecraft wouldn't be as good if it had better/more advanced graphics imo :/


yo_john117 (on 16 March 2011)

He's 100% right.


nen-suer (on 16 March 2011)

Better graphics is definitely a plus. Sure its not the most important part in a game, but saying its worthless is BS.


Boutros (on 16 March 2011)

Totally right.


voty2000 (on 16 March 2011)

I guess it depends on what he means by graphics. NSMB Wii for example is not a graphical power house but it looks great and fits the game. If he solely means polygon count, I don't agree. If he means how the game looks, then I agree.


BenVTrigger (on 16 March 2011)

He's very right actually. While I don't think its the MOST important thing, Gameplay will and should always be the most important, graphics do play a huge factor.


Xbbjf9s (on 16 March 2011)

He's right.