During his talk at Develop, Denis Dyack stated that gameplay is not everything when it comes to developing a title, and the aesthetic value must be considered an integral part.
Basically, games are art.
“Gameplay is not everything,” said Dyack. “If you look at the most popular games today, they are far more narrative-focused. If games are to follow the trajectory of films, then the dominance of gameplay will diminish in place of an increased focus and importance on gaming’s stories and the ways in which they are told.
“It’s an unpopular viewpoint. But I don’t believe that gameplay is the most important aspect to games. I have a theory: that engagement is greater than or equal to art plus story plus gameplay plus audio plus technology. It’s all of these things combined, and one is not more important than another.
“While I think that narrative is going to become more and more dominant, possibly superseding gameplay, narrative is not the be all and end all. However, I think we will move towards a place where games can be a success because of more than just their gameplay, because of their music, their internal architecture and so on.
“That video games are art is quite obvious to me. The new synthesis is interactivity and gameplay. Instead of moving pictures, that which movies brought to art, we now have interactivity as the glue that brings together all the previous artistic elements.
“It’s ridiculous to claim that video games aren’t art because they speak the language of film. I would encourage us to apply filmic technique to our creations. If you can replicate these techniques extraordinarily well, then your game will resonate with people on a deep level.”