Greed, easy money and lack of Xbox support killed Achievements

Greed, easy money and lack of Xbox support killed Achievements

Introduced to Xbox 360 and quickly embraced by the Xbox community. Achievements back in the day was an incredible feature and it spawned a new sort of gamer, a completionist. I fondly remember the beginnings, people cared and talked about Achievements they unlocked. Even on those early days, there was a game, a harbinger of one of the main issues today, Peter Jackson’s King Kong that was easy for getting a relatively fast 1000 Gamerscore (six hours – remember this) Kameo and Project Gotham Racing 3 showed how much extra value Achievements could bring for replay value and a sense of accomplishment. 

Fast forward to 2022, Achievements are troubled with so many issues that this once great feature is ruined by developers who take advantage of players who want fast Gamerscore, games with a silly amount of Gamerscore and a lack of development from Xbox themselves to reinvent it.

When Achievements launched King Kong was the easiest game, with 6-8 hours for 1000 Gamerscore.

Issue 1 | Developers that make easy gamerscore games and the gamers who buy them.

Yes, I blame gamers who purchase games to get a fast 1000. I think it is beyond silly to invest money in a game that totally sucks and is purely brought to the market to be purchased for fast Gamerscore. There are examples enough, with even a game that takes 20 fucking seconds for 1000 Gamerscore. That said, while I think it is silly to purchase a game published by Xitilon (as it has 3 or 4k Gamerscore – more about that below) it is still the decision of a player to spend money how they want.

Issue 2 | Xbox fails to bring new life into Achievements.

There are so many great ideas from the Xbox community to make Achievements better, but the harsh fact is that Microsoft simply doesn’t invest in making it a better feature. One of the only new features that they created was quickly abandoned Timed challenges. They didn’t give you Gamerscore but games could continue to add them so gamers always had something to do. It was a fun thing but sadly it took a quick and silent exit. It is a mystery to me why Microsoft is constantly saying that they listen to the Xbox community but decides to ignore all the Achievements feedback on the official boards and feedback page. The only changes I can recall are the rare Achievements and an earned %. Both of them are a nice evolution but I think Achievement hunters and fans deserve more.

Issue 3 | There are no rules for game developers.

Getting 1000 Gamerscore in 20 seconds or even 15 minutes? I’m sorry but this kind of thing is shameful. Using title updates for adding Achievements up to 4000 that unlock in mere seconds is shameful.
I‘m sorry to say but purchasing a game for the above two reasons is shameful. To think that with this money you could actually buy games that are worth your time, support a developer who launches a decent game to the Xbox store.. because let us get one thing clear, most games with the above two shameful things are terrible games. quick cash grabs from publishers who know that a few hundred gamers will purchase them.

Issue 4 | Broken Achievements.

An issue that existed since the start of Achievements. You do what is required but it doesn’t unlock ‘insert sad face’. An example from my personal experience is Alan Wake, I earned the Achievement for dodging thirty times but my dodge one-time Achievement has been glitched since Alan Wake’s release. Developers normally fix broken Achievements, a recent example is Archvale but sometimes it is left to be broken forever. Most of the time a developer lacks resources, can’t find the issue or simply doesn’t care.

2022’s fastest completion is 20 seconds

What about now and the future?

Giving a more substantial value to Achievements is never going to happen as there a too many games that misuse the system. I do hope that eventually, Microsoft is going to improve the system so a new fresh breeze of air runs through the system. More importantly, it needs to set rules in place for developers so cash grabs happen less. A big part of the problem is the gamers’ culture that continues to search and buy these games. I’m not saying it is a bad thing to purchase games for easy Achievements, you remember King Kong right? For me, that’s perfectly fine but when a developer or publisher releases a game purely for quick Achievements earned in an hour or less, that’s where my patience runs out.

Questions for the community.

  1. How can Microsoft make the Achievement system better?
  2. How do you feel about cash grabs?
  3. Do you actually look at Achievements?