Bethesda: ‘Graphics Do Not Matter’ Is A Lie

Most hardcore gamers - ourselves included - believe that "graphics don't matter" and that they are second to gameplay, but Bethesda believes that they - we - are lying.

"There's a lot of people who say graphics don't matter. To them I usually say 'you're lying'," Bethesda VP of marketing, Peter Hines, said in the latest OXM Podcast. "[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."

We have to admit that while we believe that graphics don't matter, we do insist on getting the latest high end GPUs and to run all our games at max setting at the highest resolution our screens support. In our defense though, we spend tens of hours playing challenging yet graphically-simple games such as Super Meat Boy and Bit Trip Runner.

In the same podcast, Hines explained that Graphics play a key role in creating "a sense of immersion" and that Bethesda is "looking for the best sense of immersion you can get" with its upcoming Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

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Don't judge a book by its cover

The same subject is used upon our lives everyday.
If you choose something by its looks you know what will happened.It lights you up at first but burns you at last.
In everything you have to feel things with your heart and think with it.
For the people who are in computers and videogames since the eighties they will know what I talking about:game matter by its subject and not its graphics.
For the youngest that is a problem because they will not understand and think we are nerds or gays or whatever.
I ask you one thing:look at your boy/girlfriend and ask yourself what you like/love in her:you 'll have your answer.
Commodore rulez !!!

Graphics Do too matter!

I love graphics! I still love my best NES games graphics. IMO Super Metroid has the best graphics on SNES. Graphics and gameplay have to go together to enhance IMMERSION into the game. I spent a butload of money on my new gaming pc, and Nvidia 3d Vision. Why 3d Vision? BETTER GRAPHICS! I want to be immersed better in my games, and nothing improves graphics like a 3d setup. Gameplay still needs to be good in a game or I won't play it, but better graphics can equal better immersiveness to a game's environment.

I dont play a game to look at

I dont play a game to look at 3 colours even if it has the most amazing gameplay, i play a game because im doing something i cant do in real life, i cant go shoot aliens, i cant go and drive a formula1 car, i cant do any of that stuff, if i do play those types of games i want it to look like real life, to immerse me in the gameplay and to get me feeling like it could be real life. Why else would i play a game? i dont want to read it like text-only adventures i want to be in it, looking around the room and opening the doors just like real life.

one compliments the other

Graphics and gameplay are 2 pieces that make a whole if either one lacks the other must compensate or the game will ultimately fail, however gameplay compensates for graphics alot better than the otherway around, betheseda is kickass and skyrim has given me wet dreams thinking about it, PURELY because of how good it looks


If graphics don't matter go back to using Dos with Tandy graphics and pre 16 bit sound system. Hell just go back to using Amiga or Commodore 64 and play butt loads of Snake, Donkey Kong and PAC MAN. Before Microsoft and Apple were even goons.


The guy has no idea.

Graphics don't matter PERIOD! What matters is the design. Example Bit trip runner (bad graphics great design)

Wind Waker old game with now "bad" graphics but better design than Twilight Princess. WW still looks good because of the design TP looks like shit now well imho it looked like shit from the beginning games like Starfox adventures 4 years older than TP look better and both is no cell shading.

Dragon Quest 9 for DS looks great because of the design. Not because of the graphics.

God of War 1 and 2 look like shit graphically but the overall game and visual design make it a great game.

Another example is Minecraft sure it looks shitty especially with the pixelated textures but i changed the textures to A LINK TO THE PAST textures and now i love it. It has bad graphics but i love the 80s block design + i love the design of the ALTTP textures + i love the fact that its a great game = tripple win.

If you believe graphics don't

If you believe graphics don't matter then why has anyone bothered to continue with development. By your argument, games peaked with text adventures. Nothing but design.

Good graphics and good design are not mutually exclusive.
One will always enhance the other.

Graphics and sound matter a great deal, period.

some text adventures were

some text adventures were quite fun... this is why there is so much illiteracy in the word, the books don't have good graphics so why bother. did you have your mommy type what you were saying or can you actually read? speaking of which, tell your mom ill be over later so the fat bitch better save me a plate. dont be mad because your daddy raped his sister and you were born and now he wants to play naked twister with you. ohhh nigga you aint shit bitch. you just a chubby fuckin taint lick, 500 lbs of limp dick, and you jerk off to world of warcraft. dont say you don't because denial is proof that you do. hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha your mom just tickled my balls, sorry... now go smoke a bong out your uncle's asshole and call it a day, chode lover


and not to forget stuff like Muramasa or Odin sphere both look great because of their design.

Just imagine next gens Halo 5 or Killzone 5 with the best possible graphics like 4k resolution etc. but with inverted colors or green skin pink blood with blue dots in it. Red/yellow sky and displayed upside down on your display. Would still have great graphics but totally stupid design noone would care about hat crap because design is more important than graphics.

Imagine you would have to play these games with your feet instead of your hands and in every mission you would have to go to a corner and jump 1000 times like an idiot. Both would destroy the gameplay experience and therefore destroy the game. Gameplay and design > graphics.

Graphics have been important

Graphics have been important since day one.
To both developers and players.
A quick bit of history research reveals the excitement of the growth from cga/ega to the then amazing vga standard. And it's the same growth pattern you see today, Mostly.

I love Minecraft too but face it, it would be even better with amazingly detailed and photorealistic graphics. Destroyable and morphable terrain. Weather and trees blowing in the wind, before you burn them up for charcoal.
The creepers alone..

Gameplay + amazing graphics = better. Either one alone is less than it could be.


Its all about the advertisement, if it looks good chances are it plays like shit. Wee need idiots in this world that we can sell their own dirt to them, its the easiest moneymaker. Take look back at some of the best games that wore, now they look like crap but think about it was it fun. And now game developers don't got to try at all because they got you by the graphics, (shit programing for frame rate that you got to have 120Hz TV to compensate for incompetence). Its a good way to make you upgrade your system if you care about graphics. Its all strings you pull one you pull them all.

Graphics matter of course just dont forget the other stuff.

There are a few definitions of games for me but dont have the time or the space to write about it. Put simply graphics matter to me if I see a game not taking advantage of the hardware we have I just dont get impressed. I want to be immersed and awe struck as I absorb the glorious surroundings...Fable sequels for example failed graphically for me it was ok but nothing special and the fact the game had the depth of a tea spoon didnt help.

Fallout first graphical impressions thought it was good at best but once outside the scale of the wasteland jaw dropping lost hours in that badun.

AC series now that was a game that when you had to go through load sections into restricted areas was unreal to say the least best graphics meets fun gameplay for a long time not to say GTA was ugly because that had no areas so looks the part for a fully populated world but I would have been happy to go through load sections to get the graphical finesse of AC. The further we go the better graphics I want but that doesnt mean gameplay should be left behind. Bethesda know their stuff I trust them to make an incredible game.

I have to agree that graphics

I have to agree that graphics matter, but ultimately the gameplay trumps it. I've thought about this a lot and I've come up with the theory of functional graphics. It's true that gamers like things to look nice and shiny, hey who doesn't, but the graphics in reality only have to meet a certain requirement for the gameplay to be approachable, functional, and make it clear what is happening in the game. One of the reasons older 80's games aren't so good is because you can't do much with 3 colors and low resolution from a gameplay standpoint, but many games with a few more colors and a little bit higher resolution or an extra dimension can make a great game, because of the gameplay options available from the increased graphics. Some of my favorite games, and from the sound of it some people here's favorite games, are older games made in the late 80's and the 90's, a period in which the graphics pale compared to recent games. As long as the graphics allow the game to play how it's intended their fine. Would people really argue that Batman Arkham Asylum, or Fallout 3 wouldn't have been as good if they didn't have dynamic lighting or the models had fewer polygons? That isn't to say that I don't like to have thing look shiny, but in reality it isn't necessary beyond a point.

Graphics take away dev time for story

I completly agree, graphics only account for so much joy in games, I still play games that are 12+ years old (Jagged Alliance 2 and Fallout 2) but it seems these days it's more about graphics rather than story or characters, take Kane & Lynch for example, the graphics are done really well and while the two main characters are sort of interesting the story isn't great. A good morden example of a good mix of all 3 would be (imo) Mass Effect 1 & 2, I think developers need to look back to older games and take game play styles and mechianics. I also think dev's need to make more turn based games, as they do have massive and very loyal fan bases, like JA2 and Fallout 2 and even silent storm, there are very few good turn based strategy games out there and I think we need more.

and you need to put the

and you need to put the controller down and get some pussy my virgin friend... your sister doesn't count and neither does jerking off into condoms. most modern games today suck so much dick they make you look straight. COD for example, sucks. bulletstorm? pffft ive had more fun sleeping.. this website is consistently diseased with virgins...

They matter muddafuggers

Its like saying do cute girls really matter? Seriously can't you get off to an equally attractive girl (bodywise) but with a plain looking head? Answer for us shallow fVcks is a resounding NO!

We might lie to our gfs and say ...yeh baby you look amazing, but secretly we are checking out the girl behind the counter.

Game gfx matter a hell of a lot. If they didn't then 80s games would still be top 10 nowadays, and developers would be wracking their brains as to how ingenious programmers were back then, and how to beat ol skool gameplay.

allow me to quote a very

allow me to quote a very famous comedian... NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER HES A NIGGER!!! fucking homo i bet you were wracking your brains trying to figure out what all the funny lookin symbols on your porno machine mean... and then you made your first post! stay in school kids...

Peter Hines does have a

Peter Hines does have a point. There are some gamers for whom graphics truly do not matter, but there is a huge amount of players in the market that say gameplay comes first but automatically gravitate towards the better looking game.

Graphics do matter

Graphics do matter they bring us closer to the world we are playing in. OK people who dont care about graphics go play a Nintendo 64 or dont buy crysis 2. When I play a game I want to see grass, tress, sky etc..If you dont care about Graphics then it means your a casual gamer and so you need to buy a Wii. I have games for over 23 years and graphics do matter.

You are all missing the point

You are missing the point. Bethesda VP isn't saying that graphics are the deciding factor, that's what you are assuming he is saying. What he said was, when you say graphics are completely irrelevant, you are lying. This is true. Graphics are important. If they weren't, you would never upgrade your systems, you would never run settings at higher than the absolute lowest, and you wouldn't go for bigger monitors. Graphics can make a game more fun. So when you say, "I don't care at all about graphics", you are lying, and that is what the VP is talking about.

Graphics will never be a replacement for solid gameplay, but better graphics will always make the same game more fun. Morrowind was better than Oblivion, because the gameplay was better. However, if Bethesda did a complete remake of Morrowind, without changing anything at all, but making the graphics better, you all know you would jump on it. You would get the exact same gameplay, but you would enjoy the enhanced graphics. What I am hoping with Skyrim, is that it will have graphics to rival Oblivion, but gameplay to rival Morrowind.

morrowind & Oblivion

Hey I just wanted to say some people actually did redo the graphics for those games and second that yes gfx matter a lot.. I'm a super hard core gamer Ive played pretty much everything and bad gfx ruin a game. Ive tried going back to many classics like ff7 but it's just not the same as back then when they were good gfx.

They are right if you are saying gfx don't matter you are lying.. and lets be honest most games don't have good game-play... and almost no game has real innovation and btw the wii had the most advanced game-play and everyone has one but do you really turn it on?

I haven't for like two years.. who are you people trying to kid... this idea of game-play didn't even make sense back in the old days most games are the same.


Graphics now a days are good enough. There is no need to make the graphics better. If you compare graphics in games now a days , you will see that they are all pretty much the same. What sets games apart is the gameplay which is THE most important thing in a game. The only reason devs want to push the graphics as a selling point is because computer hardware companies can then sell their bigger and better video cards with no problem as many gamers want to play their new games with the best frames possible not to mention bragging rights.

Screenshots do not do any game justice

Good/bad graphics aside, it's a horrible idea to look at a screenshot and think the whole game is going to look that good or that bad. Most of the time, the game is going to be moving, and you aren't going to sit still and examine the texture on a rock, or look at some grass and think how much better/worse they look in game X. Why? Because you're supposed to be having fun.

If you are going to nitpick every detail in every game, especially without playing it first, maybe you're just looking for things to complain about.

graphics do matter you tards

why do you love morrowind over oblivion? because its a better game - if golden memories are to be believed - but the morrowind graphics engine allowed it to be such a great game. if graphics did not matter whatsoever, morrowind would be just as spectacular developed for the original gameboy; something tells me something would be missing ;)

bethesda, youre kinda right: hardcore gamers arent lying to themselves, theyre just not critically thinking... not really sure then if they should be allowed the 'hardcore' title.

i rejoice the coming of new graphic engines of what theyll allow new games to do.

personally, i would have not spent so much time exploring morrowind's coasts and caves if not for the then-spectacular water.

do graphics matter? absolutely, dont be retarded and polarize the discussion. are they all that matter? absolutely not, but thats obvious.

'hardcore gamers' has been bastardized. its now meaningless.

Hardcore Gamers?

Seriously if you need fancy shit like "spectacular graphics" to enjoy a game at its fullest, you shouldnt call yourself a gamer at all, youre just a costumer willing to buy anything new the industry releases because its "spectacular graphics" dont talk me about hardcore, you fail at what even casual gamers can do wich is just enjoyin the freakin game.

Actually the truth is that if you need fancy to enjoy a game you are more casual than anything because you are focusing in the most superficial and less creative thing on a videogame wich is? graphics...

Seriously do you think games that focus in graphics so much like most games nowadays, will be still played after 23 years of being released like Mario games do? or classic J-RPG games like Chrono Trigger wich was released 15 years ago but just got a release in 2008 for the DS with almost same graphics as the original? You think people still would play online those crappy CoD games after 10 years of beign released like some people still plays the original Unreal Tournament or Quake 3/LIVE? Wich btw doesnt get a new release every freakin year like CoD, why? because unlike graphics, gameplay NEVER gets OLD, if gameplay is really good, fun and interesting as it should be on any game, graphics is the last thing you will care about.

My point is that If u can play a good old game with "shit" or old graphics and still enjoy it the same as a new game with good graphics then you can call yourself a gamer, if not GTFO and buy a life or something because for people like you, gaming is going to hell.

BTW i find very Funny that Microsoft and Sony had to stop focusing on graphics and had to copy Nintendo to increase their sales in the end, guess what? it worked.

Unreal Tournament has shitty graphics & good gameplay?

Other way around I'm afraid. Since when has UT had good gameplay. Where do you get the idea that there aren't multiple iterations of it & WTF are you livin' so as to not know that Unreal was titled as such due to the developers impressions of their games graphics?

Funny that you think that MS & Sony stopped focusing on graphics in favor of motion controllers. MS & Sony needed motion control because that's what they had to do to get a piece of that market & it's about all they could do w/their very very obsolete hardware. They aren't focusing so much on graphics because their old outdated hardware can't do it any better. Do you think the next consoles aren't already in the works? Do you think they won't offer & boast about better graphics?

The next consoles are coming & they are coming w/superior hardware to the current gen' consoles, but of course w/inferior hardware to the current gen' PCs.

So how did "it work"? Kinect is completely different than the Wii & it's safe to say no one gives a fart about Move. The gimmicky controllers are for "casual gamers" that wanna run track & paddle through white water.

When the new consoles drop, they will try to sell the same thing that Hollywood & Nvidia & the TV companies are selling now & that's 3D, that's a major graphical leap that requires a major technological leap. Sony is already dabbling w/the PS3 but it can barely do it. The only reason Sony has any 3D games @ all is because the PC's already been doing it for years.

After 23 years plenty of people will still want to go back & play some of the games they liked when they were younger which may include the crappy CoD series.

Minecraft. Nuff said.

Minecraft. Nuff said.

Really? Graphics do matter? I'm sorry but personally, I'd play morrowind over and over again more than Oblivion just because of how much better morrowind was compared to oblivion, and was MUCH bigger. Even Daggerfall was 10x bigger than both combined, but still, fun factor is what's important in video games, not graphics. First impressions, yes, very big impact when it comes to graphics, but once it comes to gameplay, i don't care how good looking a game is, if it sucks, it sucks, which is just about 80% of games coming out now a days.


If graphics matter so much then why do i prefer Morrowind over Oblivion? Answer that one Bethesda. I think what he means to say is graphics have a key role in selling our games to kids and Xbox gamers.

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