Pardo listed a number of specific trade-offs that World of Warcraft had been forced to make. One was in terms of system requirements, and an artistic style that was not in line with the hyper-realistic trend of games like Crysis, for instance. “We would rather have lower system requirements to reach a broader market. This means having a stylized art style that is resistant to looking dated” even as hardware becomes more powerful.
“That generates lots of negative press,” Pardo admitted. “Our screenshots are never going to compare to something like Crysis. Crysis-level graphics are easier to market, and developers like to make that kind of art. Plus the press likes it. But ultimately, I think we’re proven that the gameplay is really what matters, and if you have cool stylized art, that’s enough.”[/quote:dd7274d2eb]
Good article, but I think if you asked most developers they would rather make realistic stylised or realistic graphics most would choose the former.