development budgets of new MMOs. To stay ahead of the technological curve, a large portion of the budget invariably goes toward the graphics department. Studios produce impressive graphics engines and mountains of art assets in an effort to make their game one of the most visually impressive out there. Amidst all the fuss over graphics and gameplay, audio is often overlooked and underfunded. It's been shown that good music and sound effects can have a significant impact on the perceived quality of a game. This is something that some development studios recognise and support but many continue to neglect this vital part of the gaming experience.
In this article, I examine the importance of good audio in an MMO and explain the underlying psychology involved.