While some could go their entire lifetime without ever hearing the satisfying chime of earning an achievement, there is a large portion of gamers who live for every addition to their Gamerscore, and for those types of gamers we have some great news. Starting very soon Microsoft will be allowing developers of Xbox Live Arcade titles the opportunity to offer 400 Gamerscore points rather than the traditional 200.
Typically your retail title — not counting DLC — would offer 1000 Gamerscore for completion of various different objective from beating a game like Mass Effect 3 on its hardest difficult, or something just pressing start. For downloadable titles, since, in Microsoft's mind, they haven't achieved the same level of popularity as a retail release, the number was kept to a paltry 200 Gamerscore.
It seems insignificant that Microsoft is now allowing, and pretty soon requiring, developers to boost their Gamerscore totals, but for those achievement hunters out there this could be enough to boost downloadable sales. Games like Limbo or Bastion, that offer only a paltry 200 towards a player's score, can typically get overlooked just for the unfortunate reason that they don't provide enough of an incentive. Starting June 1st, however, XBLA titles will have another 200 more reasons to entice gamers.
Achievements, for better or worse, have drastically changed the landscape of video games, giving players more reasons to explore, and by allowing them to compare their "hardcoreness" to their friends. It could be argued that achievements are a huge reason that the Xbox 360 versions of console games sell the best, even though the PlayStation 3 offers trophies (but did so at a much later date).
The hope is that these additional Gamerscore points will allow developers to incentivize rather than to abuse, but we can see an equal opportunity for that extra 200 points to be dispersed over the same achievements that were already heading for the game anyways.
A better idea would be to include more dynamic experiences in the game, ones that inspire multiple playthroughs, or even some sort of multiplayer component. And hopefully the revenue generated by those downloadable titles will reciprocally help make the games better.
How do you feel about Microsoft upping the XBLA Gamerscore limit to 400 points? Do you think this will inspire more creativity in developers?
Source: VG 24/7