It turns out those special treats and unlocks in Gears of War 3 for gamers who have played other Xbox 360 Epic games, like Shadow Complex, Unreal Tournament 3, and the upcoming Bulletstorm, are not coming after all. The news came from lead gameplay programmer Joe Graf via Twitter where he stated:
"Turns out that we can't read the Bulletstorm, Shadow Complex, and UT3 achievements for unlocks in Gears3 afterall. Sorry about that all."
The reason for the change is due to restrictions concerning Xbox Live data. It is easy for a developer to pull data from a gamer's Gamercard or Avatar information but digging any deeper is not supported. This means because Epic's other games are classified separately from their Gears of War games that they cannot access a gamer's saved data for those other Epic games. All is not lost, however, as unlocks and treats can be given out in Gears of War 3 based on a gamer's past Gears of War and Gears of War 2 saved data, as both of those games are classified the same way. Joe Graf confirmed this in a later Twitter post, providing:
"All of the Gears games are in our publisher/dev family, so those we will reward with unlocks."
While getting some cool rewards or unlocks for playing other xbox 360 Epic games could have been neat, the general Xbox Live data restriction is likely a good thing. Sure it might prevent developers like Epic from doing this type of reward/unlock but it also prevents other developers from tapping into all of a gamer's saved data. Without any restrictions like this who knows how much data could be accessed or even possibly corrupted by another game either intentionally, by mistake, or through inadvertent code.
Additionally, it is not as if Epic cannot still include the content itself that they were going to include as an unlock or bonus for playing past Epic games. It can all still be included, Epic will just need to figure out another way to put it in the game or to have it unlock for gamers.
What are your thoughts? Do you care that these unlocks or bonuses can no longer be tied to your past Xbox 360 Epic game saves? Are you happy about this change? Do you think the Xbox Live data restrictions are a good thing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Gears of War 3 is expected to release this fall exclusively for the Xbox 360.