With the Xbox One’s release this November, Microsoft intends to revamp their Achievement system, which has been a part of gaming on the Xbox platform for over eight years now.
With games as big as The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim that are played for months, and sometimes years, beyond their initial release, or games that constantly evolve through DLC and updates, it’s clear that the Xbox One’s game-enhancing systems need to catch up with the times.
“We’ve found a pattern where a user will buy a game, they’ll play the game, they’ll max out the Achievements within three to four weeks, and they’re still playing the game six months later,” Xbox Live’s principle group program manager Chad Gibson recently told OXM. “We really wanted to make all our Achievement systems fully embrace cloud power. Which is why in this generation it’s all cloud Achievements.”
“So, the general guidance we give to Achievements on how they’re utilised – conceptually, that’s the same, but the big decoupling we did is that on Xbox 360, your Achievement is actually a bunch of client code you write in your game, and that’s still largely true on Xbox One, but the client code is instrumentation,” he explains. “So you instrument your game with all these events and then you go to a web tool and say, ‘oh OK, I want a new Achievement when this event crosses this threshold’. You can add an achievement without ever updating your game client.”
“We want game developers to be able to offer Achievements and interesting opportunities throughout the life-cycle of a game,” Gibson added. “So, you know, 14 months after the game’s shipped, you’re still offering interesting Achievement opportunities, because users are still playing the game and the game is still evolving and growing.”
With no formal cap on the amount of Gamerscore one could earn on a single, well-supported title, hardcore achievement hunters might find it concerning – constantly fighting an uphill battle against an ever-increasing 100% Gamerscore completion rate. To combat this, Microsoft will take action if it finds its systems are being abused by developers and publishers.
“We’re mindful of it,” said Gibson. “We’re mindful of it, and the corollary is that with a lot of games today, three updates later it’s a nice evolution of that game – it’s a different game that’s been modified and adjusted, based on what people are enjoying and having fun with. And we think that Achievements should match that.”
Looks like you achievement hunters have your work cut out for you. Are you digging Microsoft’s new approach to Achievements with the Xbox One? Let us know!