Why gamerscores/achievements might win MS the next console war. Please no.

FieryTrainwreck

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Edit: this is part rant, part PSA.

Edit edit: because reading an entire post before responding is now foolish, I'll copy/paste an apparently necessary clarification from a later post...

I didn't really bother to spell out the whole thought progression because I assumed a few people would fill in the blanks for themselves, but oh well.

- if everyone who owns a 360 buys an Xbone and everyone who owns a PS3 buys a PS4, market share in the US will obviously remain relatively stable
- if market share between the two consoles is similar, publishers will make more money with the Xbone because MS's policies are drastically in their favor
- publishers making more money on one console will favor that console with greater support and exclusives
- more third party support and exclusives will draw more people to the console, shifting market share
- as Sony begins to lose market share, they will implement similarly anti-consumer policies in order to level the playing field
- end result: publishers win, consumers lose

If MS releases a superior product with loads of amazing, must-have exclusives, oh well, game over, "ownership of the things I buy" was fun while it lasted. I just hope "brand loyalty", or loyalty to a bright green dashboard, a gamerscore, or a friends list, is not the deciding factor. Realistically, Sony needs a sizable market share advantage to win the next generation and prevent the proliferation of these draconian anti-consumer features. If it's at all close, MS will eventually win out. I think that will suck.
I really hate the "gamerscore"/achievements/trophies concept. Never needed to check my accomplishments off a preset list in order to keep track of my fun, etc. But whatever, they're not hurting anyone, and they don't monopolize any valuable resources.

They DO allow publishers to track our collective playing habits, which is why we have 4-6 hour long shooting galleries left and right. Why make a 12 hour game if 70% don't finish it? Why create unique mechanics or interesting side plots if only 10% find them? But hey, that's on us. Can't blame "achievements" for shallow, impatient people.

All that said, I'm going to be incredibly pissed off if I never get to "own" another game again because a bunch of 360 morons mindlessly re-upped on account of not wanting to lose their completely meaningless gamerscores/achievements/profiles.

Let's be clear: the only way Sony wins is if they completely dominate market share. Think along the lines of 70/30. Otherwise, Microsoft's "customers second" ideology will yield greater profits for publishers, which in turn generates greater support and exclusives for Xbone. Eventually Sony will have to adopt similar anti-consumer policies to keep pace, and that's that - standards set, consumer contract successfully rewritten, the end.

So please, PLEASE, do not buy an Xbone just to maintain your profile, gamerscore, friend list, etc. That sort of brand loyalty is exactly why MS created all of that junk in the first place. It's an emotional manipulation from a company that is currently doing everything in its power to rewrite the basic concepts of ownership in favor of billion dollar corporations. Don't fall for it, and don't let your friends fall for it. Believe it or not, you can reassemble your entire virtual life quickly and easily through Steam or Sony or anything else. And your gamerscore, your achievements, etc. - they don't actually mean ANYTHING. Let them go.
 

hazabaza1

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...what?
You do know Sony has a trophy system too, right? It's linked with your Sony account, so that includes stuff like the Vita.

Plus, I doubt anyone's going to pay however many cash-monies just to keep their achievements. And if they do... well maybe they deserve to waste their money on that.
 

Erttheking

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I'm sorry, I'm really not following what you're saying here. You really think that people are going to shill out hundreds of dollars to keep their achievements...why exactly?
 

Foolery

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Um, ok? I just ignore achievements/trophies. To me they're trivial and don't add anything to a game. After having my 3DS for a bit, it is refreshing not to see them.
 

piinyouri

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Actually what you say makes a modicum of sense.

I do think you're being a bit presumptuous and possibly a little extreme here, however the base idea is sound.

Infamous's developers looked at the trophy/achievement statistics to decide what should happen to Cole for Infamous 2, so they certainly use the data, however I don;t know how much of the OP's near conspiracy theory mini rant is really honestly true. Yes, they do look at the data, but I do believe you're overreacting a bit.
 

KarmaTheAlligator

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At the same time, considering MS presented the fact that XBL accounts with achievements will carry over, they certainly are hoping that it will be a deciding factor.
 

Laughing Man

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Gotta say I have very little interest in the next gen of gaming console, the XBone is only of interest in the same way that the Sim City release was or a watching a fantastic train crash is, it interesting watching how it is all going wrong but you really wouldn't want to be part of it. The PS4 will get a bit more interest being that it is the only console that has even a remote chance of me purchasing it, with that said surely, given that the XBone has no way of allowing it's users to play previous games doesn't that in turn render a huge number of their achievements as nothing other than digital fluff, like having a degree in Phrenology? (that's reading the bumps in a persons head in an attempt to determine what kinda of person they are, a 'science' very much of interest during the 19th century but has since been declared as nothing other than total rubbish.) Yes you can say you have those achievements but for a game you can no longer play, so bloody what.

If anything surely the achievement carry over would play better in to the hands of a company that has the ability to allow it's customers to play their previous games, such as, well, Sony for example? Okay you'll have to no doubt sign up for their GaiKai service and more than likely have to pay some additional fee to get that game again, but...
 

chickenator88

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As consumers we shouldn't think of it as a "console war", any conflict for market share should be down to the console developers of Microsoft and Sony.

Wish people would just buy whatever they think looks better, and as games console this should then purely come down to has has the better games - though there aren't ever that many exclusives. I'm sure you're right that some sad acts will want to stick to their current brand due to gamerscore, but it'd be more to do with brand loyalty than due to continuing their gamerscore/trophy score.

I mean, I've got an Xbox, and if, IF, I buy either, unless the PS4 has better games/is a superior gaming machine, I'll stick to Microsoft, as I prefer the controller, have had a good consumer experience etc. The fact that Microsoft seem to me trying to make it an all-in-one system for media doesn't appeal as I've got a computer/ipad for browsing, a TV thing for watching TV etc, so it's down to the games
 

blizzaradragon

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While many are saying that achievements don't matter and games are all that is important, which I definitely agree with, there are people out there who do care about their gamerscore, trophy list, etc. When I was in high school and so far throughout college, I've seen many different people who put their gamerscore above other things in games. Some to the point of refusing to play another game until they get all the achievements possible, others constantly renting and borrowing games including those they hate just to boost their number. This seems increasingly important among the "dude bro" gamers who have to have the latest CoD or Madden. Among the ones I've talked to, while there are some that aren't giving in to Microsoft and saying no to the Xbone I've seen about the same amount of people who are sticking with Microsoft for next gen. And yes, one of the more popular reasons among them was that they got to keep their gamerscore and continue building it without having to start over. It's maddening, especially when after explaining the issues they either shrug it off or say that the other features and their gamerscore beat out the cons.

TL;DR Gamerscore can indeed get people to buy an Xbone, just not among those you'd see frequenting a forum like this.
 

TrevHead

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There's rumours circulating that GS and / or achievements won't carry over to X1 due to no backwards compatibility, I really REALLY hope that is true and all of a sudden teens realise just what a big waste of time they are.

Don't get me wrong folks I understand that they are great for giving ppl a abstract goal to aim for other than seeing the ending credits, but there are better and more refined goals to aim that stroke your eppean. The main one been highscore that GS is basically a badly implimented bastardisation of anyway. The good games with highscore like shmups, puzzlers, speedrunners and other arcade / action games, those games have been built from the ground up to play for score and are much more fulfilling working out complex strategies to obtain the top slot on the leaderboard.

Imo it's f**ked up when you find yourself playing RPGs for GS (or worse crap games) and won't buy a game because it doesn't have GS like is often seen on Steam Forum threads for indie games.

However since GS is here to stay I wish Steam/MS etc made up better rules for GS, personally I'd rather have it so that a game has to be beaten on normal difficulty for any GS to be added to the players profile, atleast that would force ppl to play the game properly and make them less likely to bother playing games they normally wouldn't play.

Linking GS to where they stand on individual games leaderboards is another step in the right direction too.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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piinyouri said:
Infamous's developers looked at the trophy/achievement statistics to decide what should happen to Cole for Infamous 2, so they certainly use the data, however I don;t know how much of the OP's near conspiracy theory mini rant is really honestly true. Yes, they do look at the data, but I do believe you're overreacting a bit.
The data mining part, wherein achievements/trophies are used to track how we play games (and said data instructing future development), isn't really up for debate. Devs have already admitted they use those stats, and I see no reason why they shouldn't. If there's anything wrong with achievements/trophies influencing developers to create shorter, dumbed-down games, that's not their fault. It's ours. But that wasn't the main point here.

chickenator88 said:
As consumers we shouldn't think of it as a "console war", any conflict for market share should be down to the console developers of Microsoft and Sony.
Depending entirely on whether or not Sony adopts similarly anti-consumer practices, this "console war" is actually a pretty legit one. It's not going to be Pepsi vs Coke or Honda vs Toyota. It's going to be the "publishers first" console versus the "customers first" console. And it pains me to think that there will be people automatically upgrading to Xbone just because they've got a gamerscore or a profile or a friend's list they want to maintain. This generation of console could pose an actual meaningful decision for the consumer - one that could have far-reaching consequences.

I didn't really bother to spell out the whole thought progression because I assumed a few people would fill in the blanks for themselves, but oh well.

- if everyone who owns a 360 buys an Xbone and everyone who owns a PS3 buys a PS4, market share in the US will obviously remain relatively stable
- if market share between the two consoles is similar, publishers will make more money with the Xbone because MS's policies are drastically in their favor
- publishers making more money on one console will favor that console with greater support and exclusives
- more third party support and exclusives will draw more people to the console, shifting market share
- as Sony begins to lose market share, they will implement similarly anti-consumer policies in order to level the playing field
- end result: publishers win, consumers lose

If MS releases a superior product with loads of amazing, must-have exclusives, oh well, game over, "ownership of the things I buy" was fun while it lasted. I just hope "brand loyalty", or loyalty to a bright green dashboard, a gamerscore, or a friends list, is not the deciding factor. Realistically, Sony needs a sizable market share advantage to win the next generation and prevent the proliferation of these draconian anti-consumer features. If it's at all close, MS will eventually win out. I think that will suck.

Dots connected.
 

CannibalCorpses

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Let me stand up and defend achievements for a moment. You see, when i look at someones achievement list i can tell what kind of player they are. I can tell if they are hardcore players that always go for the difficulty achievements first or if they are more casual and take their time with games. I can see the people who use guides on the first playthrough and who do it afterwards when they have beaten the game themselves. With 5 minutes of exploring your list i can tell if you are a cheating bastard who is beneath my worth to deal with or whether you are a willing gamer who might be fun to play with.

Now...what you see as a tool for forcing brand loyalty, i see as a way to spot the cheating bastards i left pc gaming to avoid. I despise the new things i've heard about the new xbox and despite having 160000 gamerscore on the 360 i will gladly throw that away in favour of a better system. You see, my having a high gamerscore is a reflection on my ability to destroy every game that is thrown at me and, no matter what system i play on, i will always be that game destroyer if i set my mind to it. With enough understanding of achievements you would be able to tell that just by looking down my list but alas, you seek only the negative aspects and ignore the information that could be usefull to you.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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CannibalCorpses said:
Let me stand up and defend achievements for a moment. You see, when i look at someones achievement list i can tell what kind of player they are. I can tell if they are hardcore players that always go for the difficulty achievements first or if they are more casual and take their time with games. I can see the people who use guides on the first playthrough and who do it afterwards when they have beaten the game themselves. With 5 minutes of exploring your list i can tell if you are a cheating bastard who is beneath my worth to deal with or whether you are a willing gamer who might be fun to play with.

Now...what you see as a tool for forcing brand loyalty, i see as a way to spot the cheating bastards i left pc gaming to avoid. I despise the new things i've heard about the new xbox and despite having 160000 gamerscore on the 360 i will gladly throw that away in favour of a better system. You see, my having a high gamerscore is a reflection on my ability to destroy every game that is thrown at me and, no matter what system i play on, i will always be that game destroyer if i set my mind to it. With enough understanding of achievements you would be able to tell that just by looking down my list but alas, you seek only the negative aspects and ignore the information that could be usefull to you.
How is that information useful to me again? For properly categorizing you? To what end? Giving you the "respect you deserve"?

You're sort of representing everything I hate about not only achievements but, well, people.
 

Ed130 The Vanguard

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Pugiron said:
The dumbest thread ever on the Escapist.
No it isn't, not by a long shot.

Sure it could have been structured a little better but the OP at least stated that is was 'part rant' and is about a recent/ongoing gaming event.

Now one of EternalNothingness threads could be considered 'dumbest' or at very least 'most WTF? inducing'

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/forums/read/9.340123-Poll-Sonic-the-Hedgehogs-friends-or-the-humans-from-the-Transformers-films-Whos-worse

(thankfully most of the image links are now dead)
 

KOMega

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I think I have some brand loyalty to Sony. Seeing as I have a PS1-3.
I have plenty of trophies on my PSN account, and a few platinum trophies too.

But these only hold importance to me while I'm playing the game which those trophies are tied to.
Once I complete the game or I don't feel like playing anymore then to hell with the trophies.

I hope this is how them Xbox players feel about their achievements too. I think the concepts are similar enough.
 

soitgoes19

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I like trophies. They give me an extra reason to replay games or to play the game differently. I never would have done a no-gun playthrough of Mirror's Edge if it weren't for the "Test of Faith" achievement. The real problem with achievements is that some games use it as the only reward, like in Assassins Creed. In the first game there are all these flags you can collect. About halfway through I decided to check and see what you get once you've gotten them all - and there's nothing but the achievement unlock. I don't really see that many people basing their decision of next-Gen consoles on achievements.
 

Comocat

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If the next gen was something I was interested in, my gamer card would probably be one reason to stick with Xbox. The console wars isnt really a thing I'm into. That being said Microsoft has made it pretty clear im not their demographic for this system, so I dont love my score that much.
 

FieryTrainwreck

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It has never been more painfully apparent to me that people only read the title and first few sentences of a post before forming their replies. The notion that someone would follow a thought progression and pay attention to the obvious conclusion of a post is just silly.