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Pixels with a Purpose: The Significance of Art in Gaming

Classifique este Artigo Regardless if it’s a hypercasual game or one with a massive, sprawling world, art plays a significant role in shaping one’s impressions of a video game. Glamour Square - Pixels with a Purpose: The Significance of Art in Gaming

A video game’s art shapes your impressions. It’s easy to say it is its most crucial aspect.

We cannot understate its appeal. Old retro games and their pixelized visuals are well-loved, and countless newer games today use the aforementioned. Meanwhile, some games go for a more photorealistic approach. At first glance, you wouldn’t even know if it’s a visual render or a real picture.

So, how important is art in the gaming world? From dress-up games to action-packed experiences with massive open worlds, let's take a good long look.

To play or not to play?

No Man's Sky improved over the years

Sometimes, it takes a few seconds to determine whether you’re buying a game or otherwise. How you view a game’s art will decide if you will view more of it - like its gameplay and other elements - or ditch it.

This seems trivial, yet I am guilty of this. For example, I didn’t like how turn-based dungeon crawlers looked, only to be hooked by their straightforward yet deep gameplay. Moreover, I was immediately impressed by No Man’s Sky before its release but was let down by its rather shallow mechanics upon launch. Though it managed to redeem itself, there are other cases like this wherein players decide to buy a game (or not) based on how it looks.

Art transforms games into vastly different experiences

A quick and simple change in art direction can turn similar games into vastly different experiences. These may attract other audiences, enticing more players to jump into them.

For example, there are lots of 2048 games with varying art. The goal is to merge the tiles on the board until you reach the titular number. However, numbers aren’t exactly the most engaging things out there, so to spice things up and add a bit more variety, 2048 games use emojis, cupcakes, horses, and even fruits. Fundamentally, there are barely any changes in the gameplay, but, in turn, it helps in making the game a little more palatable for certain players. This applies to kids who will inevitably be attracted to vibrant colors.

The monetization of art

2048 with horses

Post-release, art is a game’s main source of revenue, taking the form of skins, aesthetics, and wearable equipment. It’s safe to say that some developers fully rely on them - just look at free-to-play games like Fortnite and Pokemon Unite, where most of their revenue is driven by character skins and equipment. Do you want that pickaxe that looks like the Grim Reaper’s scythe? That’s $20. Meanwhile, do you want to give your Dragonite or Pikachu a new outfit in Pokemon Unite? Shell out $30, and it’s yours.

Moreover, this isn’t just limited to free-to-play games - it even extends to premium games in the form of DLC and in-game purchases. In the Assassin’s Creed franchise, you can buy outfits for the protagonist, along with new ship flags and crew armor. In Monster Hunter Rise, you can purchase outfits for your hunter and palico that can boost stats.

Art attracts, transforms, and is a source of revenue

There are plenty of Fortnite skins to purchase

Overall, we can never understate art’s significance in the gaming industry. How a game looks will determine its initial impact on potential players, and it can vastly transform games into a more suitable experience for other players. Most importantly, it helps drive up revenue, supporting gaming companies and developers who provide them for our enjoyment.

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