Non-realistic art style helps give MMOs longevity.
The developer behind Star Wars: The Old Republic wants users to be able to play the MMO "forever, literally" according to BioWare associate lead designer Emmanuel Lusinchi.
Lusinchi described how the studio plans to give the MMO longevity in the market by applying a non-realistic art style, telling Metro: "Okay, so the art style. We do that on purpose because a realistic looking game will look great the first year, will look okay the second year, and look terrible three years later when people make fun of it. While a more abstract style has more longevity. More polygons, better technology, would add nothing to the style we've chosen.
"We want people to be able to play this game forever, literally. Part of the attraction is to have this alternate universe you can go to whenever you like and if it looks bad after two years you're going to feel cheated. So we wanted something that would have a lot of legs and we picked an art style that we have not seen anywhere else, which we wanted the game to look exactly like the concept art. And we take great pride in taking a vista that a concept artist has done and rendering it in-game and then put them side-by-side and see if we've hit the same notes and style.
"So we picked an art style and we had a lot of people thinking that it was terrible in principle. But when you play the game, because the game look so different when it moves compared to a screenshot, I don't think I remember anyone who after they played it for weeks, or even days, complaining about it."
Recently BioWare's senior creative director James Ohlen stated the studio hopes the MMO will last decades. However the game's lead writer Daniel Erickson told VideoGamer.com that this was a misconstrued joke.