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Riccitiello: Prioritising Graphics Over Gameplay "Is A Road To Ruin"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Casual Connect, Graphics vs. Gameplay, John Riccitiello, Mobile games

Riccitiello: Prioritising Graphics Over Gameplay "Is A Road To Ruin"

Former Electronic Arts boss John Riccitiello has stated that developers are better off focusing on gameplay and innovation rather than trying to replicate console-quality graphics on mobile platforms.

Speaking at Casual Connect, Riccitiello reflected on the numerous occasions when developers at EA had said the following: "We're going to bring console-quality to mobile. That will differentiate us from everyone else."

"I think that's a mistake," he concluded. "Investing in better graphics without figuring out what differentiating gameplay you're going to have — without thinking of how gameplay rewards players — is a road to ruin. Prettier games cost more to make. Better games satisfy consumers."

Riccitiello compared the situation to the tech jump in the Nineties for strategy games that moved to embrace 3D modelling in spite of doubling or tripling costs, saying that "revenue remained the same because they weren't innovating."

"If you're looking at more powerful CPUs and GPUs, think more about how that creates the opportunity to build an experience you've not seen before — a different kind of gameplay. What gameplay wasn't possible before that can be fundamentally optimized?" he asked, broadly, before returning to the mobile sector.

"You can either hope to be lucky twice, or you can figure out an answer that I think is vitally important for the health of the mobile business. Developers need to build brands. Games that don't build a brand will not be around in a decade. Will Clash of Clans be with us in 25 years? Madden turns 25 this year. Will Candy Crush be around next year and still be doing a few million a day?"

"Incremental innovation isn't going to cut it anymore on mobile," he said. "The next hits are going to come from fundamental innovation." [Polygon]

Add a comment3 comments
DivideByZero  Aug. 1, 2013 at 12:48

"If you're looking at more powerful CPUs and GPUs, think more about how that creates the opportunity to build an experience you've not seen before..."

Yeah, better graphics, or more graphics, or both!

I never get it when people keep hitting on graphics advancements. It's stupid. Without them we would still be playing Pong. The new generation of hardware gives developers the oppertunity to not do a lot of extra work but make the games look a lot better.

Look at Frostbyte 3 engine porting over. Developers will be able to put the same game out, but with AA / AF type graphical enhancements and it can run at 1080p at 60fps.

These "little" things will make a lot of difference.

Gameplay and graphics are two different things, but you don't need to do one or the other - you can do both.

noobgamer  Aug. 4, 2013 at 10:10

your definitley right about that but it seems that with new gaming consoles like xbox one and ps4 they focus on graphics and not gameplay. I like good graphics but when it starts to mess up games and cause games to have the same repetitive gameplay I get a little frustrated.I feel the graphical advancements are to large for companies that they sacrifice the gameplay to satisfy the people who only care for graphics.we can have both but we should tone it down with the constant graphic updates and focus on the gamplay

Last edited by noobgamer, Aug. 4, 2013 at 10:18
Anarchist  Aug. 4, 2013 at 18:43

your definitley right about that but it seems that with new gaming consoles like xbox one and ps4 they focus on graphics and not gameplay. I like good graphics but when it starts to mess up games and cause games to have the same repetitive gameplay I get a little frustrated.I feel the graphical advancements are to large for companies that they sacrifice the gameplay to satisfy the people who only care for graphics.we can have both but we should tone it down with the constant graphic updates and focus on the gamplay



Sorry but that argument has been done since pong, and its been as unfounded for the last thirty years as it is now.

A game having good graphics does not mean that it will have poor/undeveloped gameplay. Typical game studios have teams developing all different areas of their games. Just because a game has a well funded/experienced graphic/modelling department does not mean it has to take on work experience to complete the core game design.

We have always had good and bad games for gameplay, ever since they were invented. Gameplay is mostly subjective. But we always expect graphics to be good/constantly improving as all we have to do is take an existing engine, add a few more polygons or modify shadow rendering or something. Gameplay is much harder to judge as 'improved' as people will always find something they personally do not like.

How on earth can you say that the games on PS4 and xbone are concentrating on graphics and ignoring gameplay when nobody has even played them yet!? I'm so bored of people jumping on this bandwagon, spouting the same old rhetoric. Maybe they would be happier if everyone purposefully made their games with s**t graphics.

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