Since their genesis seven years ago, coinciding the launch of the Xbox 360 and Microsoft’s Xbox Live Dashboard interface, the scope of Xbox Gamerscore Achievements has extended to personal accomplishment, bragging rights, and the occasional black-market pawning of a highly decorated account.
Starting this Fall, however, possibly with the release of Microsoft’s annual Fall Dashboard Update (AKA The Big One), Achievement Points will satisfy gamers in a more…tangible way through the Xbox Live Rewards Program.
Founded in December of 2010, Xbox Live Rewards has been Microsoft’s latest take on the corporate loyalty program, offering Live members Microsoft Points, Live’s Marketplace currency, in exchange for the completion of tasks like purchasing Xbox Live Gold, activating Netflix, referring a friend or completing a survey. The program’s Twitter feed has just hit 50,000 followers, and in celebrating their social media milestone they decided the time was right for a bombshell tweet:
“We’ve hit 50,000 followers, which means it’s time for an announcement! Coming Fall: a new way to earn Rewards based on your Achievements!”
Followup tweets would only ask us to stay tuned for additional information in “the coming months,” so there are a few ways we could intuit the current announcement. One is that “Rewards,” which consist solely of Microsoft Points, might expand into a gamer picture or avatar accoutrement (items many games already dole out on their own), and Achievement Points will then be used to unlock them.
Another possibility, one more likely and more enticing, is that Achievement Points will be tracked for those signed up in the program and will periodically dispense Microsoft Points into a user’s balance (1000 Achievement Points might earn 100 Microsoft Points, for example – depending on the level of charity).
For avid gamers who double as avid spenders – those who purchase heaps of downloadable content for games; enjoy dressing up their avatars; or consume the Marketplace’s constant offerings of TV shows, movies, and music – the program could be seen almost as a pay-for-play incentive. That seems to be an image Microsoft wouldn’t mind conveying in order to attract more Gold subscribers – although those who engage in the aforementioned sub rosa swindling of high-point accounts might see a few dollar signs as well.
We’ll keep you updated with any concrete information on the change – we’re interested to see where this goes and what it might mean for Achievement Points in the future.
Ranters, have you utilized the Xbox Live Rewards program? Would Achievement Points for Microsoft Points affect the way you invest – financially and time-wise – in a game?
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.