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360 Achievements More Popular Than Microsoft Imagined

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the flaunting-those-sk1llz dept.

XBox (Games) 117

GameDaily is hosting an article looking at the phenomenal popularity of Achivements on the Xbox 360. Even the marketing team that came up with the idea is floored by the incredible popularity of what CliffyB referred to as 'nerd cred'. From the article: "Achievement points are changing the way gamers play. While the tendency had been for people to play a game through to the end and then toss it into a closet, many gamers are now going back and playing them again, this time to unlock achievements to boost their Gamerscore. Or if they only played the single-player version, to go back and play the multiplayer or online component. Or to go out and buy games they would not ordinarily have purchased. Or to rent games."

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Vista achievments on the way? (5, Funny)

guysmilee (720583) | more than 7 years ago | (#17473870)

Do i get points for running IE7 instead of Firefox? I better boot my other partition ...

Re:Vista achievments on the way? (1)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474736)

No, you get points for running it in Linux under wine - not exactly rocket science these days :)

Ah, validation (5, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17473872)

The only thing that surprises me about this is that they're surprised - achievements are the first thing I said "wow, that's a good idea" to when I got my 360. It just seems obvious that in a hobby where people used to mail Polaroids of arcade machine high-score screens to each other (and to gaming mags) something like this would catch on like wildfire.

The encouraging thing is that, so far, I haven't heard of too many games (and the ones that are guilty of it are from EA...no shock there) that have stupidly easy achievements included just as a way to encourage people to buy them ($60 for a meh game, but with a guaranteed 1000 points attached). My gamerscore is a paltry 4600 or so, but even I've been lured into trying certain things over and over just to get an elusive achievement.

Looked at objectively, of course, it's ridiculous - but subjectively, it hearkens back to the console games the eighties and nineties, where you'd obsessively try to beat Facility in less than two minutes to get a new cheat code, or spend an hour jumping on Goombas to get 99 lives.

Sure, the points can't be redeemed for anything - but since when have high scores in games, or unlocking all the secrets, or beating Mike Tyson, ever been redeemable for anything? Really, all this indicates is that, while the days of gamers striving for the number one high score have been supplanted by most games being story-based (or at least, game-completion based), there's still an attracting to having a number that says you're exactly this much better or worse than the next guy.

Hell, haven't there been cases where a low slashdot uid has been sold on ebay? It's all about cachet amongst a certain type of geek/nerd/gamer, and they're surprised that a metric for providing exactly that cachet is popular?

Re:Ah, validation (1)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474108)

Sure, the points can't be redeemed for anything - but since when have high scores in games, or unlocking all the secrets, or beating Mike Tyson, ever been redeemable for anything?

IIRC, wasn't there a contest when the original Punch Out (with Mike Tyson) was first released where you could win actual physical prizes? (Of course, there were other physical prizes offered in the past, including some damn expensive jeweled swords and such in the Atari days, but it's Mike Tyson that triggered the memory of something having to do with beating Punch Out).

--
Evan

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474136)

Now that you say it, I think you're right. Obviously, I never scored any swag that way, or I might have remembered it myself.

Re:Ah, validation (3, Funny)

backtick (2376) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474182)

Hell, haven't there been cases where a low slashdot uid has been sold on ebay? WOOT! Really? :)

Re:Ah, validation (4, Funny)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474432)

Don't think yours would be worth much, it's kinda high.

Re:Ah, validation (0, Redundant)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474594)

Oh, for the ability to mod and post in the same discussion.

+1 for you, sir.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Shrubbman (3807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475088)

D'oh, guess I'd be just totally right out then

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Shrubbman (3807) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475130)

Don't think yours would be worth much, it's kinda high. Well if he's too high to cash in, guess I'd be just right out.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Jokerz17 (681197) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478350)

Obviously your UID will go for cheap since it hasn't gotten much use (as evident by your double post)

Re:Ah, low uid wankfest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476182)

Another low uid wankfest. What a waste.

For fuck's sake people, stop massageing your own colon and hold off on the low uid wankfest for once.

Everyone knows slashdot was at its best around 700k.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

TA_TA_BOX (892664) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478256)

Your slashdot id maybe lower, but my gamerscore is higher!

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474506)

I've got six digits attached to my name (curse those last 5,494 people who clubbed up to screw me!), so it's not a market I've personally entered, but I'm sure I've heard of it happening.

On the other hand, a quick ebay search on "slashdot" doesn't turn up any current auctions, which means the market may have dried up.

Alternatively, of course, it could mean that the market is pristinely untapped. You should probably put your uid up for bid and see what happens.

Re:Ah, validation (2, Funny)

ximenes (10) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475474)

Some dude with a three or four digit uid sold his years ago. I've been waiting for the value of mine to improve with age.

Re:Ah, validation (2, Interesting)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476312)

Reminds me of a sci-fi story where the "Number 8", the highest still-existing human since humans began numbering themselves, and essentially a god(dess) in abilities, had f***** up an experiment royally and destroyed a galaxy and all the people in it.

If you want to improve your standing even more, tell 'em it's in binary.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

El Long (863542) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478258)

Lysdexia tried the other day [ebay.co.uk] but bids only made it to the dizzy height of $1.04 so it's gonna be a good long while till mine is worth anything!

On the other hand no-one on here should be without their copy of this [ebay.co.uk] fine tome - hurry, only 10,000 copies available!

Re:Ah, validation (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17474730)

In the old Atari days, Activision had a program where you turned in a photo of a high score or some form of completion, and you could get a patch. The patches were specific to each game, with a few actually offering more than one for different tasks, such as getting one-hundred-thousand points or one million points in a game.

Activision released a game comprised of all their Atari games, plus a few extras such as prototypes, freeware homebrew, and even a joke program (venetian blinds). In it, it also implemented this patch system. Score over the specified amount or beat the game in a specific manner, and you win the patch with a little fanfare (no need for taking photos!).

Given the fun I had (and work done) to earn some of those patches, the 360's achievement system was a natural fit for me. In fact, it's one of the reasons I ended up getting the system (other being that the Wii wasn't out until November... which I got). Not for the score, but for the achievements themselves. I have a grand total of two discs: Kameo, and Live Arcade Unplugged. I've rented about 3 or 4 games, borrowed Oblivion for a bit, but done most of my gaming on the Live Arcade, trying to get various achievements for the games, and being a little irked at some that are bugged (Outpost Kaloki X), insanely simple, or insanely impossible (Smash TV, I'm looking at you). However, it gives me a reason to plunk 5 or 10 dollars every few weeks into a game, versus $60 which makes me hesitate.

My only hopes are that more achievements, even if they're scoreless, are released as updates to games. It's added content and goals, and gives you a reason to replay, if you're into that sort of thing. Also, I just wish Nintendo would have a similar system, ESPECIALLY for all those classic games. Publically state MS has done something good, praise them for the system, and then you don't look so bad when you use their idea (if it isn't patented).

Re:Ah, validation (3, Informative)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474978)

Outpost Kaloki X has an update available that takes care of the bugged achievements - all 200 gamerscore is achieveable now.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

autocrawler (1004066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475534)

I dislike the concept of achievements. I already have to keep my WoW character in top shape, now I have to watch after my gamerscore as well?! Seriously though, achievements have never affected the way I play games: first, single player once, then multiplayer if present, until I get bored, then forget and move on to next game.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474788)

You can run a little faster if you use the two controller setup, look a little to the side, and run a little to the other side.

I was anything but confused when the controllers started having two analog sticks on the ps2/xbox/cube generation.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475090)

Facility: 1:42. Best time I've seen.

It's all about the headshots and proximity mines.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

mike2R (721965) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476470)

Facility: 1:42. Best time I've seen.

ok I realise this is the final proof that I have no life, but.. Wow that's impressive!

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476092)

> Really, all this indicates is that, while the days of gamers striving
> for the number one high score have been supplanted by most games being
> story-based (or at least, game-completion based), there's still an
> attracting to having a number that says you're exactly this much better
> or worse than the next guy.

Ahh, I long for the days when you knew you were better than the next guy because a mouselook down showed his bloodied head lying on the metal catwalk at your feet. Outscoring the number 2 guy by over 100 points in one of your best CTF games ever, or fragging a clan LGD guy and making him go "BULLSHIT!" in another.

It's too bad Quake (I) doesn't run on modern computers without choking the network connection as it tries to send out a network message every one of it's 30,000 frames per second. Quake II and beyond all completely lost the charm.

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Sizzlean (820489) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476234)

Those bastards at Atari still owe me badges for mailing in a picture of my high scores in Pitfall and Dolphin.

Obligatory "Chasing Amy" quote (1)

21st Century Peon (812997) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476282)

"The premise is very basic - you roll the ball up the ramp at varying speeds, in an effort to pop it into the score circles. The higher the score, the more prize tickets you get."

"What do you do with the prize tickets?"

"Trade them in for prizes that aren't worth nearly as much as you paid to play the game."

Re:Ah, validation (1)

rholliday (754515) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476686)

Exactly! This isn't entirely a new idea, but it's an excellent execution of it. I've always been a fan of collectable items of accomplishments. In the games I've worked on I've always made sure something like that got developed. I called them Achievements in CORE MUD, and Survival Guide has its Trophies. A lot of gamers love this stuff, and I'm surprised it hasn't been tapped more in recent years.

Greetings Starfighter! You have been recruited... (3, Funny)

Noxx (74567) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478008)

...by the Star League, to defend the Frontier against Xur and the Kodan Armada.

It's because every one of us has this secret hope that our Achievements will be noticed by someone, and we'll be whisked away to fly a giant CGI starship [imdb.com] full of laser beams and death blossoms.

Or is that just me?

Re:Ah, validation (1)

Total_Wimp (564548) | more than 7 years ago | (#17479042)

High scores are great and all, but total scores across all games available no matter how bad they are?

Sorry, but that's like fucking every ill-tempered, ugly chick you can find and then bragging to your friends about how many times you got laid. If that's what you really want, then more power to ya.

TW

Uh oh. (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17473904)

360 fans seem to have been bitten by something akin to the MMORPG "leveling obsession".

Good luck, my brothers. Good luck.

Re:Uh oh. (1)

gregtron (1009171) | more than 7 years ago | (#17473940)

Agreed. After a long Gears of War marthon play, my brother said, "Man, acheivements really are like crack for you."

Re:Uh oh. (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476096)

We'll know it's really bad when people start paying Chinese students to power-achieve for them.

-Eric

Re:Uh oh. (1)

pnattress (1002576) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476584)

Yep. [levelmy360.com]

Simple Explanation (2, Insightful)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474024)

360 Achievements More Popular Than Microsoft Imagined
Because Microsoft has no imagination ;-)
(Sorry, couldn't pass that one up.)

Having played many a MMORPG myself, I have seen how addicted people get to, well, just numbers. The goal is to have higher numbers than other people. That makes you special/better. Doesn't matter if the numbers mean anything or not.

Re:Simple Explanation (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474674)

Having played many a MMORPG myself, I have seen how addicted people get to, well, just numbers. The goal is to have higher numbers than other people. That makes you special/better. Doesn't matter if the numbers mean anything or not.

www.tacticsarena.com The son of a bitch game got me for more than one year... (a girl friend introduced me to it so it was cool). The more stupid thing is that each month your account gets wiped and all your points are completely removed unles you *pay* (however when you pay they give you other "characters" and change your status to "gold" which pretty much removes the fun from the game).

Any kind of multiplayer game where you can show anyone you are the best (or better than a lot of people) is going to be addictive. I used to do it with Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2 and King of Fighters on arcades... but now that Arcades are dead Live and the other online games (I HOPE the Wii has an acceptable online service... I bought it and it is very cool so far).

Re:Simple Explanation (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476638)

Yah, few people associate the achievement number with skill since it doesn't seem like there's any standard for doling them out. Though they may be impressed by particular achievements like the highest Geometry Wars achievements.

Really, I'm satisfied even with the small somewhat easy ones. Just having that little bloop and the message popping up gratifies me, and I wanna see what "feat" I accomplished, since I'm betting I'm not alone in that I love to get achievements but don't actually pursue them until I've completed the game.

Really, it's much like the MMO grind for ficticious prestige. It doesn't matter that the prestige is all in your head, it feels real and it makes you want it.

Lack of imagination? (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477196)

Well, I'm certainly surprised. Microsoft aren't popular at all, so surely people could think up a 361st achievement which is more popular than them? Only to be able to imagine 360 achievements which are more popular than Microsoft is kind of poor going.

Gamerscore = (1)

shirizaki (994008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474112)

Arcade scores of yore. Even if you finished time Crisis, you played through it again to get that number 1 spot. That's one thing I'm glad MS bought to the table with the 360. I makes people actually play though the game for bragging rights.

Popular? (3, Informative)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474144)

I skimmed through the article to find the numbers and this is what I got:

Of the four million people we have on Xbox Live, in one year they've unlocked over 200 million achievements; that's 50 per person.

Now, when you consider that Battlefield 2: Modern Combat has 46 achievements, Dead or Alive 4 has 45 achievements, Elder Scrolls: Oblivion has 50 achievements, Gears of War has 49 achievements, Ghost Recon has 43 achievements, Kameo: Elements of power has 50 achievements, and Perfect Dark: Zero has 50 achievements it demonstrates that "50 achievements per person" is really not that impressive; a person could probably get that many achievements by casually playing a couple of the most popular games on the XBox 360.

I could be wrong, but I suspect that there is a dedicated group (probably 200,000 or so) of hard-core gamers who will do nearly anything to boost their gamer score but the numbers Microsoft is avertizing do not imply that Achievements are all that popular.

Re:Popular? (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474312)

Many of the achievements in all of those games are obscure and difficult to get. While there are certainly a number that are simple, most actually require some effort to get.

I would suspect that for the average person to get fifty, especially when most only play a couple of games in a casual manner, is actually a surprising figure.

Re:Popular? (2, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474604)

I don't doubt that in many of the games there are a lot of very difficult to obtain achievements but I was trying to point out that (like all statistics that use the mean average) they are easily manipulated by a small group of people. Suppose (for argument's sake) that there are 250,000 XBox 360 owners who have completed 24 games to obtain 48,000 points each and each of these games had 25 achievements (on average) giving each player an average of 600 achievements; this would mean that the rest of the userbase would need about 10 achievements on average to hit the 50 achievements per user number that Microsoft is advertizing.

I think if they (truely) wanted to demonstrate how popular it was they would tell us the median number of Achievements/Gamerscore rather than the mean; that single user who has a gamer score of over 100,000 points will skew the mean by quite a lot.

Re:Popular? (3, Interesting)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474970)

Just a couple points of interest:

First, each full game is supposed to have 50 achivements totaling 1000 points. This hasn't been strictly adhered to, but it's what's supposed to happen.

Second, 360voice.com will give you a list of the top gamerscore holders that have registered their machines on the site (a sample of ~70,000). The top gamerscore is over 100k, #50 is almost 60,000, and #100 is almost 50,000. #35,000 comes in with a score of 3110 on 31 games played. The bottom of the list, of course, contains people who have scores of zero (though I did see one guy with a score of zero and twenty-three games played, which is at least mildly incredible to me).

I'm not sure what this says, and I suspect the sort of person who signs up to have his XBox 360 "blog" about his gaming habits skews the results towards higher gamerscores, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Re:Popular? (1)

Duds (100634) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475658)

No, each game is supposed to have 1000 points but they can have UP TO 50 actual achievements.

Some have as little as 5 and that's fine.

Re:Popular? (1)

prockcore (543967) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477974)

though I did see one guy with a score of zero and twenty-three games played, which is at least mildly incredible to me


Nah.. he probably doesn't own any games.. He can play all the XBLA demos (I think there are at least 23 of them), he can't earn achievements unless he buys the game, but for some reason, the XBLA trials count towards "games played".

Re:Popular? (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#17479016)

From what I know the actual achievement rules are as follows:

Full retail games: (those $40 and up at release)
-anywhere between a minimum of 5 achievements and a maximum of 50.
-total cumulative points must be 1000 or below (I'm not sure if there is a bottom end but the lowest I've seen is somewhere in the 600s)
-individual achievements must be worth between 0 and 500 points

Arcade or otherwise cheap games: (those below $20 and below release)
-anywhere between a minimum of 5 achievements and a maximum of 12.
-total cumulative points must be 200 or below (I'm not sure if there is a bottom end)
-individual achievements must be worth between 0 and 100 points

I'm also not sure what happens in the $21-$39 price range as there haven't been any games released within that range.

Many games have had additional achievement added later, so long as with the newly added achievements allow the game to still fit within the above criteria

Re:Popular? (1)

Cheeko (165493) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477628)

Its also a matter of how you play certain games. I got Burnout for the 360 and was doing lots of multiplayer and online, with some minimal single player. Then I opted to unlock the whole game. I think I got to about 60% of the way through and only unlocked 1 achievment since I was just blasting through.

At least in THAT game, the achievements benefit you playing WELL, not just playing through it quickly. After I stopped and started really going for the absolute best scores/times on every single track, did I start to see more achievments.

Mind you, I'm also going through blind, having no idea what the achievments themselves are. I'm just not interested that much. I suspect its much easier to get them, if you know what they are and what you need to do.

That guy with 23 games and zero achievments probably has no idea what they are, and only plays each of his games for a little while, and doesn't really obcess over doing each particularly well.

Re:Popular? (1)

EvilIdler (21087) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475592)

I've had a 360 only two days, bought three downloadable games and two more in stores.
This has given me 22 achievements, and I haven't even started playing the two big games properly.

A week with five downloadable games, played casually, would easily give you 50 achievements.

Re:Popular? (1)

damiangerous (218679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17479086)

Most downloadable games do not have 10 "easy" Achievements. They only have 12 total since they're 200pt games, and many of them are hard. I got my 360 on Dec 11th and I've been playing casually since then and I only have 26 Achievements. Most of them have come from the easy Acheivements at the beginning of various games I've tried. I got a big chunk of my points from Call of Duty 2, which I finished, but only got 200pts from the whole game since the rest of the Achievements would require me to replay the game on a harder difficulty level.

Re:Popular? (1)

Anonymous Cow herd (2036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474582)

...it demonstrates that "50 achievements per person" is really not that impressive; a person could probably get that many achievements by casually playing a couple of the most popular games on the XBox 360.

Actually, that's not true. From my experience, 'casually' playing an XBox 360 game will get you less than 5 achievements, usually around 3 tops (although this varies by game). And the easy to unlock achievements tend to be weighted accordingly, usually accounting for less than 10% of the total achivement points possible.

Re:Popular? (1)

Control Group (105494) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474688)

Exactly. Most of the achievement points in most titles are notably difficult (or at the very least, time-consuming) to acquire. I've put over 100 hours into Oblivion, and I'm still nowhere near having all the achievements, since I haven't worked my way to the top of each guild. DoA has an achievement for getting an "A" ranking in online play (also for lower rankings, of course), Kameo has achievements for practically perfect scores in online play as well as in single player, PGR3 has achievements for owning every car of a given make, and so forth.

Of course, there are games where just beating it gets you all the achievements (NFS:MW, I'm looking at you), but those are, in my experience, the exception rather than the rule.

Either that, or I'm way worse at video gaming than I thought I was.

Re:Popular? (1)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475764)

Except that a lot of the achievments are too difficult for a player to achieve, or too tedius to attempt.

For example, a lot of the acheivements involve playing the game at all skill levels... some involve beating the game using a single weapon. The average player isn't going to get 50 achievments on a game, they are going to get closer to 20.

Re:Popular? (1)

Morgon (27979) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475778)

Well, at MyGamerCard.net [mygamercard.net] , we host the Xbox 360 GamerScore Leaderboard [mygamercard.net] in which you can see that some people are taking more achievements for themselves than others.

50 Achievements is still a lot. As other posters have mentioned, you're not going to get all of them for each game you play. Some require a lot of dedication, and some, like EA's early games, allow you to gain all of the Achievements with minimal work required.

Achievements are definitely popular. They help boost game sales without a doubt. Not necessarily for the better of the community, I'm sure -- I know many people who have sat through some truly horrible games just for the GamerScore, and that just encourages publishers to make more mediocre games.

My awesome idea (4, Interesting)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474228)

Ok, I just wanted to throw this out there because otherwise I'll forget it. Personally, I was put off by Nintendo's pricing for its virtual console games for Wii. Way too high for me since I already have most of the games I'd want to play on the original cartridges and they still work. Anyway, Xbox 360's Achievements gave me an idea. Rather than paying $5-10 for a game title, players should be able to redeem a Nintendo equivalent of "Achievement Points." And the service would track what achievements were redeemed so players could only use them once. This way, in order to get more virtual console titles players would need to buy/play more games on the Wii. Nintendo still makes money, and gamers don't get the "I'm spending money on nothingness" feeling. Naturally this would require some tweaking so players can get a reasonable number of titles per however-many Achievement points, but I think it could work quite well.

Imagine if Microsoft had a similar service (well, ok, imagine it had Nintendo's old games available on it) and had you redeem something like 1000 pts (random value) for a game download? I think that would be awesome, and would likely sell a lot of consoles.

Re:My awesome idea (1)

ookaze (227977) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474882)

Nintendo already have a similar system.
But it's different because the kind of people targeted by Nintendo is different.
Nintendo has stars. You get stars each time you buy some game, and by doing some things on their official web site, where you must have an account of course.
Until now, except in Japan, what you could get with stars was useless. Actually, it's still useless now.
We are waiting for Nintendo to tell us if these stars can be converted to Wii points, which would be a good move.

Re:My awesome idea (1)

batmn42 (158573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474958)

It would work great for consumers-- if you play more, you get more games to play.

But it would be a terrible idea for the business. "Spent" achievement points don't show up on a company's profit reports.

Right now, Microsoft is winning on both sides of the achievements equation-- it costs very little for them to keep the Achievements system up and running, since they've already built in a tracking system, and it obviously (as they say in the article) drives both sales and rentals.

Turning Achievement points into some kind of currency wouldn't do anything but cost them money. Sure, it would give you free games, but none of the major videogame companies are in the business of giving away free games.

Re:My awesome idea (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475272)

Nintendo was, for a time. I totally registered some games on their site for a free GCN disc of the old Zelda games. There we go, I just saved idk how much money on Virtual Console Zelda games. Then there was the bonus "Ocarina Master Quest" disc that they gave away along with Wind Waker (I forget the circumstances, maybe a preorder or something). Considering having folks download old games is probably costing Nintendo next to nothing, it wouldn't have been any worse for them than Xbox's system. On top of that, they could have sold "Achievement Point" cards at retail stores that came with 5000 pts. For instance, and folks could enter the code on these cards to redeem for games as well. So you would have the option of playing a lot or spending money instead. As for what system will make Nintendo more money, well I don't know how hugely successful the Virtual Console is going to become, but if Xbox's useless Achievement Points are helping them out then I imagine useful ones would help even more. In any case, if I were Nintendo that's what I would have done :-)

Re: Spending acheivement points is Bad.... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476902)

Considering having folks download old games is probably costing Nintendo next to nothing, it wouldn't have been any worse for them than Xbox's system. On top of that, they could have sold "Achievement Point" cards at retail stores that came with 5000 pts.

In that example you are very literally buying a high score, which is a bad idea and defeats the purpose of Achievements. I also don't like the idea of "Selling my high score" for a game. A better idea is to tie specific achievements, to specific downloads. Gears of War unlocking Gamer Pics is a start. A good system would have achievements allow for a free download of one of MS's LiveArcade games (A title MS owns, not any of them). This lets the customer decide if they would rather earn it through progress, or just buy it if the task is too difficult.

Re:My awesome idea (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476794)

Also note that they're primarily selling games on a retail basis rather than suscription. They got their money when you bought the game, if you spend hundreds of hours getting achievements for a free game they don't get anything more.

However, if you only play say 10-20 hours and then have nothing to do but go buy another game, they get more money.

Re:My awesome idea (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475324)

This idea, in a perfect world, would be great.

However, the video game world isn't perfect. All "achievements" arn't equal.
Some EA games are really easy to obtain for exemple. That would mean more points to the gamers for which to get new games online (if i follow your idea).
Because of that, you are right to say that people would buy more Wii games to get more online stuff. The only problem i see is that soon people would realize that EA games are more easy and buy mostly EA games because they give free online stuff you can download.

Great for EA, bad for the other developpers. Their answer would be to "dumb down" the achievements so that they become even easier than EAs to attract people to their games instead. You get a spiral downward to let the achievements become easier and easier.

Pretty soon, the "achievements" would just become "free points" you get when you buy a Wii game. Kind of like Air Miles points you get for each purchase that you can spend on online games and stuff.

I'm pretty sure Microsoft have thought about letting gamers get "stuff" for their points, but they figured it wouldn't work.

Letting Nintendo "rule" the achievements and their values would be a bit better, but equally tough to implement. Nintendo would have to review all games extensively just to figure out the "challenge level" of an achievement. All results would always be arbitrary. Is an achievement in an RPG for finishing the game (that anybody can finish if they play long enough) worth the same as killing 10 people in a single deathmatch game in an FPS?

I think this is one of the major reason why achievements arn't "currency". You need a solid base to evaluate what the achievements are actually "worth" in order for them to equal money.

Re:My awesome idea (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476598)

I understand exactly what you're saying. However, I don't think it's necessary to think of my version of Achievements as being "worth money." Rather, they are worth "old Nintendo games." In a lot of ways, you'd be trading nothing for nothing (Nintendo probably doesn't really lose money uploading a 1-2 meg game to your Wii I figure.)

Re:My awesome idea (1)

DeeDob (966086) | more than 7 years ago | (#17477112)

Nope. Nintendo WOULD lose a considerable amount of money.

It would be another discussion altogether, but basically Nintendo competes for your leisure time.

Every minute you would pass playing one of their "free" games would be a minute you wouldn't pass playing a Wii title.

Just as XBOX Live arcade games actually competes with the 360 games on DVD, it is the same market. Giving a "free" game on Live arcade would actually remove time you would spend playing other games.

Animal Crossing sort of did this (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475602)

Sounds like Animal Crossing for the Gamecube. Do enough work, and you could unlock playable NES games. Only problem was, you'd have to start up Animal Crossing to play them. Many other 'cube and DS/GBA games have done this, with the classic game being unlockable. Now, extend this through all of Nintendo's Wii titles, with the centralization of the VC - I LIKE IT!

Oh, and for those harping on "it won't make them any profit"... Some of us, MANY of us in fact, bought Animal Crossing specifically for the dozen or so NES games hidden in it. I'd buy a few more Wii games at least, if it meant I could get a few VC games as a "bonus".

Re:My awesome idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17476364)

Now you've done it. Next stop: 'Wii-wards'

Re:My awesome idea (1)

GrayCalx (597428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476392)

Like some other repliers pointed out its good in theory but probably won't work or happen in the real world... why give away games people might otherwise buy. On the other hand, what about special Themes or GamerPics that are free to download after certain thresholds, 1000, 2500, 5000 or something like that. Minimal cost for microsoft to create and it gives a little weight to the achievements.

Yet again, people are already going after high scores just for bragging rights so why would they need to give anything away?

Dear Editors (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17474256)

Stuff that matters.

Re:Dear Editors (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475106)

You missed the first sentence. News for Nerds.
Sometimes the context matters

Re:Dear Editors (1)

vaksion (1024195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475532)

It does indeed.

Achievement point inflation? (1)

OmniChamp (874914) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474268)

While I understand that whole "high score" mentality, I wonder if this will ever become a gaming benchmark of sorts. In TFA it states that companies are making the gamers earn the points in some ways, but that can turn very easily especially if this phenomenon is as catchy as it sounds. I can see EA (EA is just an easy target) dumping tons of achievement points in all their games so that the gamers struggling for top positions will have to play just to earn easy points and that may cause other publishers to do the same. Does anybody else know of the "rules" Microsoft has set out for this? Personally I don't have a 360 so I don't know if this is really a concern. But then again, this is Slashdot and I have to put in my two cents (at work no less).

P.S. I have nothing against EA. My buddy works there and loves it!

Re:Achievement point inflation? (1)

dlZ (798734) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474454)

I believe they're only allowed a certain amount of points per game (with it being less for the Live Marketplace games.) So even if they make it super easy to get them, they can't make the game have 10,000 points. So there's at least a little bit of balance. The hardcore achievement points people are going to buy/rent the games anyways, some of these players going as far as to have an import system also so they can play games not available in their area (you can have your live account on more than one system, and points don't seem to care about region.)

For me, I have next to no points. I also have next to no games.

Re:Achievement point inflation? (5, Informative)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474492)

All Xbox Live Arcade games are required to have 12 achievements worth a total of 200 gamerscore. All retail games are required to have between 5 and 50 achievements, worth a maximum of 1000 gamerscore.

And the issue with "easy gamerscore" was more prevalent near launch, as the concept was still new and not all the developers put effort into creating worthy achievements. The 2K sports games, for example, had ridiculously easy achievements in the 2K6 games - NBA 2K6 and College Hoops 2K6 each had only 5 achievements, and they are easy enough that you can get all 1000 gamerscore in a single game, and a lot of people have borrowed/rented those two because they're so easy. But if you look at the 2K7 titles, there are a lot more achievements, and they're not nearly as easy.

If you check one of the websites dedicated to achievements (such as Achieve360Points.com [achieve360points.com] , you'll see that games have really improved their achievements over time, as most games have a few easy ones that you get early on, a good amount that you get when you really spend time in the game, and then a few that are extremely tough - though the ridiculously tough ones such as getting #1 on the leaderboard have also disappeared lately, because they just result in people gaming the leaderboards to get there instead of actually playing.

And I think it's just as impressive to see the websites that have taken advantage of having your gamer profile visible on the web, such as MyGamerCard.net [mygamercard.net] , and created leaderboards and the like based on the gamerscore.

Re:Achievement point inflation? (1)

JFMulder (59706) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475262)

I've seen achievements ruin Xbox Live games. I mean, some people are playing on Gears of War to unlock the grenade tag achievement. They'll play over and over and over only with grenades simply to tag people. The problem is this is a pretty difficult strategy because a lot of people favor the shotgun and those grenade handling players become easy shotgun practice. I can't count the number of times I've killed someone who was just trying to tag me with their grenades just so they could get the achievement. Had they used the shotgun or some other strategy they might have killed me and helped their team win.

Achievement point inflation? - Gears of War (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476540)

I mean, some people are playing on Gears of War to unlock the grenade tag achievement. They'll play over and over and over only with grenades simply to tag people. The problem is this is a pretty difficult strategy because a lot of people favor the shotgun and those grenade handling players become easy shotgun practice.

They will either stop when they get their acheivement, or simply get frustrated from their single minded strategy not working. What do you care though, it just helps you get closer to the "Seriously..." Achievement, the more people do this... :-)

Re:Achievement point inflation? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474662)

basically, each game can award a certain amount (I want to say 1000) points to the gamer. The game developers can divvy this up however they want. Basically, they could theoretically give you all the points just for buying the game, or they could make them all nearly impossible to get.
In practice, the way that it usually works is that each game gives you a few points for every "milestone" in the game, a few points for relatively common things, most of the points on various difficult but not impossible things, and then there are a few points that are reserved for the absolutely insane.
Each achivement gives not only points, but the name of the achievment as well, so you can tell if someone got points just for the easy stuff, or for the hard stuff as well.
Personally, I've not bothered chasing after achivements. I know that unlocking everything gives some people a sense of statisfaction, and there isn't anything wrong with that, but I have too little time to play games anymore to spend that time exploring every last corner of a game trying to unlock everything- I have a hard enough time just making it through the main game before another one comes out.

Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (1)

CeePhour (978089) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474368)

The Achievements are definitely a great way to get people to keep playing a game they may otherwise have put down after awhile, but ultimately they are useless.

It has come up in discussion with friends about how the Achievement system could be improved, and we all pretty much agreed on the points need to have some kind of value.

Microsoft sells "Gamerpics" through their Xbox Live service. I'm of the mindset it's absolutely ridiculous to pay real money for a 1"x1" image that becomes associated with your GamerTag. Why not have the Gamerscore (poins earned through Achievements) count as Microsoft Points that can only be used towards Gamerpics and dashboard themes? I can understand why it might be asking a bit much to allow them to be used to purchase downloadable game content, XBLArcade titles, and even rent/buy videos from the Video Marketplace - but the Gamerpics and themes are basically clipped images from previous art, and clearly of far less value.

Heck, they could take it a step further and have a separate place to purchase things with Gamerscore as the only currency. "Special" Gamerpics for instance. The achievements themselves have somewhat unique and slick icons usually, why isn't every single one of them available as a Gamerpic?

Maybe now that Microsoft realizes they've done something incredibly correct they will build upon it.

Oh, and one more thing, screw you EA, for the incredibly easy "gimmie" achievements. Sadly, I guarantee they have sold games because of this.

The really great ones take actual skill and effort (Grandmaster at "Mutant Storm Reloaded", and "Survive 1,000,000" in Geometry Wars for instance)

Re:Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474618)

The Achievements are definitely a great way to get people to keep playing a game they may otherwise have put down after awhile

And this is a positive thing because...

Re:Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (1)

CeePhour (978089) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474742)

Because a lot of gamers today start good games they never finish (if it's a bad game it doesn't apply as obviously you're playing for fun).

What happened to the days of picking up a game and playing it through and through? These days the often wonderful single player campaigns are overlooked for multiplayer gameplay. In a game like Unreal Tournament this is fine, as the single player offers limited challenge and reward compared to human opponents and trash talking.

This is a real kick in the pants for single player games. Under past circumstances there would be no real motivation to "earn 1,000,000 points without dying" in a game like Geometry Wars, but now there is, and it's just one more fun thing added to the game to attempt to do. To a lot of people this seems an unreachable goal. And in the past, those who claimed to have accomplished this feat may even be called liars by other gamers. Now you get additional gameplay value, a sense of accomplishment, and proof.

Re:Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17475202)

While I agree, I wonder at why Microsoft would want you playing your old games for longer, rather than grabbing a new one?

Re:Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (1)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476910)

This is EXACTLY why I'm plugging away so much time into Geometry Wars. There's no goals otherwise, it just gets harder, then you die. If I get a good score, that may be nice, but it's no real benchmark without comparison.

But since I can see my friends scores and their achievements, it's compelled us to strive for the next one, then the next.

Re:Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (1)

Saige (53303) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475054)

Games have the abilities to award gamerpics through game play. There aren't many taking advantage of this, but there are a few - and I'd really like to see more use of it. It's not the same as what you're talking about - but it could cover some of it.

Re:Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (1)

CeePhour (978089) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475148)

There are a few, like the Marcus Fenix gamerpic for completing Gears of War on Insane, and a few games come with the Gamerpics when you download or play them (XBLA has a few notables- but recently they have been adding "picture packs" for 190MSP [mspconverter.com] ).

It would really be nice to have more pics though, as once you get a solid Friends List going you start to see a lot of the same pictures (apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't like to pay Real Money/Billy Bucks for Gamerpics).

Re:Useless, but not bad Microsoft... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476108)

Why not have the Gamerscore (poins earned through Achievements) count as Microsoft Points that can only be used towards Gamerpics and dashboard themes?

In a round about way you have that, but it's game specific. In Gears of War, 2 of your most difficult achievements (Complete the game on Insane difficulty, and getting 10,000 kills in ranked multiplayer matches) Unlock gamer Pics. Personally I like this method as it showcases at a glance you completed something difficult, and didn't just grind easy achievement points.

Truely brings out the worst in people.... (1)

ThinkWeak (958195) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474430)

The achievements attached to video games are nice, and they give you milestones to shoot for in a game you enjoy. However, there is a downside to certain achievements that can only be unlocked in a multiplayer scenerio...

Multiplayer Past: Avid players rack up countless hours honing their abilities to be god-like in their game of choice. Those that play casually can respect the fact that these players are very good and have dedicated time to becoming so.

Multiplayer Present: Games with achievements based upon Ranking Position or Kill Total are typically held by those that "boost" their statistics. This isn't accomplished by playing hour upon hour against opponents and raising your ability, it is now done by having multiple Xbox Live accounts and repeatedly "beating yourself" to rack up kills/points/whatever. So now, you can hold the #1 spot in any category, but you will not get recognition for it, instead you will hear "Way to go moma's boy. I wish I could spend all day boosting my stats. Loser"

Achievements are nice, but they're also changing our culture quite a bit. Do you try to accumulate these points the regular (hard) way, or do you opt for the cheap route?

Where 360 shines... (2, Insightful)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474462)

I don't think there is any disagreement that Microsoft absolutely nailed their online service. I have a 360 and a Wii, and I find it rather disappointing that the online utilization of the Wii is so poor compared to Live.

Just an example: Rayman Raving Rabbids - You can post your scores on an online leaderboard! To do so, you need to copy a code from the screen, go to your computer, and enter the code in a website. Come on, codes? Are you kidding me? This wonderful Wi-Fi enabled white box can't upload my high scores for me?

I love the Wii, but damn, Nintendo needs to catch up with their online service.

Re:Where 360 shines... (1)

Kazzahdrane (882423) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474726)

Agree wholeheartedly with your last point. It's a shame that Nintendo didn't get their online "service" working for launch, and so didn't release any online functionality to developers. Rayman: RR would be a LOT better if you could upload your stats from the Wii and try to beat the scores of other players right from your chair.

Re:Where 360 shines... (1)

ShadowsHawk (916454) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474728)

Agreed. So far, the only useful item has been the shop. I really don't have the time for online gaming like I used to, but I would love to be able to jump on SSB for a few minutes and pummel someone that's half a world away. Nintendo needs to reduce the pricing on the classic games and get their online philosophy worked out.

Re:Where 360 shines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17474838)

Rayman is made by Ubisoft. All versions (Wii, PS2...) use the same codes thing. How is this anything to do with Nintendo?

Re:Where 360 shines... (1)

C0rinthian (770164) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476426)

Live achievements still function properly on cross platform games IIRC. I don't see why that's an excuse.

How about Wii Sports? That is a prime candidate for an achievements/leaderboard setup. (Not to mention online multiplayer) Why is there NO online functionality at all?

Re:Where 360 shines... (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474866)

This is Nintendo's first console to officially have an online component. IIRC, XBL wasn't originally as nice as it is today. Give it some time, and I hope that Nintendo will let their service mature.

Re:Where 360 shines... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475332)

not COMPLETELY accurate...

the super nintendo had that crazy stupid modem thing the XBand (at least I think that is what it was called). Granted, however, this is their first one with it from the start and integrated.

silly? (3, Funny)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17474854)

I'd say this is really immature and pointless, but I'm afraid it would adversely affect my karma rating.

Re:silly? (1)

maddskillz (207500) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475166)

I hope the irony in that statement was intended.

Slashdot really loves the XBox... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17474998)

Why is it that Slashdotter, who slam MS, love the 360?

Re:Slashdot really loves the XBox... (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476744)

Why is it that Slashdotter, who slam MS, love the 360?

Well, Slashdot REALLY loves the Wii, and I'm sure that's partially due to the "Apple-ness" of the product design. I think the 360 is kind of a guilty pleasure they allowed themselves, since MS still loses money on it.

Re:Slashdot really loves the XBox... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17478182)

They are still making money on the games and Live. Turns out they may make a profit this year. >:(

Re:Slashdot really loves the XBox... (1)

ShawnMcCool42 (557138) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476806)

You'd have to be even more asinine than your average slashdot bigot to actually have access to a 360 and hate it. With so much to offer it's a no brainer one stop shop for legal entertainment.

Re:Slashdot really loves the XBox... (2, Insightful)

ectal (949842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17478956)

I think as much MS hate as there is around here, the thing with the 360 is that it is a good product. A very good product.

The Xbox LIve features alone--single account for multiplayer, achievements, the arcade, etc.--make it a great console. And fortunately, the story doesn't end there.

So as someone pointed out, some might see it as a guilty pleasure. Others might just partition Xbox and MS into different areas of their brain/taste matrix. But it's hard for a geek or nerd type to dislike the 360.

And I'm the presumably unusual (around here) example of someone who has gained a huge amount of respect for MS because of the 360. I think there's a chance they're beginning to understand what solid products and customer satisfaction are (though it'd be nice if they could hire people who can speak in complete sentences for the Xbox support phoneline...).

Yes, it's just like a Lamborghini (3, Funny)

oni (41625) | more than 7 years ago | (#17475100)

It's nerd cred, man! ... You can compare it to the feeling you get when you pull up to a restaurant in a Lamborghini. People go, 'Oooo, he must be somebody.'

except that, presumably, number of achievement points is INVERSELY related to change of getting laid.

I love achievements. (1)

NetJunkie (56134) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476826)

They add a new layer to the games. I went back to play CoD2 on Veteran for the achievement and found it to be a better game that way. I'm not sure I'd have done it otherwise. It also just gives you some goals to shoot for and not just run through a game.

I'm borrowing a PS3 right now and they have a similar system. One place that it is better is that by earning their reward points you can unlock things like concept art or pics. The bad thing is that with no central identity I can't see which achievements my friend has done. That's a major loss. The best part of achievements is comparing with your friends. Getting an achievement per level lets me see how far they are in the game. I also didn't care for how (at least on Resistance) the PS3 rewards were hidden until you did it. It's a little aimless and everyone knows you can just look them up online so go ahead and tell me what they are.

Gamerscore...that I don't care about. Yeah, it's easy to hack a high score with enough time and easy games. I don't care. Achievements between friends are what matters not gamerscores between idiots on some forum.

Nerd Cred? Not really... (4, Interesting)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17476854)

I really don't care about how many gamer points I have. But what I have found is that gamer points are a great way to figure out if someone really likes a game. Someone has unlocked only 10 points on an XBox Live game? Avoid. Someone unlocked all 200? I should take a look at it. Same thing with full games: someone unlocked 800 points in The Outfit? I'll take a close look at the game.

It's essentially a way to see what my friends are playing, and how much they've been playing it. Works as a great way to figure out what I should I buy.
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