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Xbox Achievement Rewards: Too Little Too Late?

/ Oct 1st, 2012 5 Comments

Xbox Achievement Rewards
Xbox Achievement Rewards

Xbox Achievement Rewards

Hell might have just frozen over because the day has finally come where Microsoft is going to reward you for all those Xbox 360 achievements you’ve spent years hoarding.  When the 360 was launched in November of 2005 its games included achievements as a way for players to show off their accomplishments in a game.  More achievements meant a higher Gamerscore and a higher Gamerscore meant, well, not much.  Even after creating countless achievement hunters and pushing Sony to create trophies it seemed like there would be no palpable benefit.  Seven years have passed and Microsoft is introducing the MyAchievements system for Xbox Live Rewards Gold members.

[adsense250itp]The MyAchievements program has three levels to unlock: Contender, Champion, and Legend.  The Contender level is unlocked by getting a 3000-9999 Gamerscore and rewards “a special gift during your birthday month”; no word on what the gift is but the fine print states it has an approximate retail value of $0.25.  The Champion level is unlocked with a Gamerscore of 10,000-24,999 and adds a 1% rebate on your Xbox Live Marketplace purchases every month.  Those with a Gamerscore of 25,000 or greater will get a 2% rebate with their Marketplace purchases.  And don’t worry—the scores are retroactive so you won’t have to get new achievements to build up your score again.

Let’s be honest, it’s great that Microsoft is finally making strides for rewarding gamers for all their long hours of playing.  In the end, though, after all this time is it really that great of a deal?  Anyone who likes something for free is obviously going to say yes.  Microsoft could have gone the cheap and expected route and just given people Avatar rewards (which are probably what the birthday gifts will be) but actually giving a rebate on purchases is a surprise.  Then again, this is only a one or two percent rebate.

How about some math?  Purchases on the Marketplace are done with Microsoft Points (a currency choice to this day only Microsoft probably understands).  One dollar is equal to 80 points and many XBLA games and DLC are 800 points ($10) or 1200 points ($15).  Keep in mind I’m rounding up from .99 cents to make things simpler.  With the 2% refund for Champion level a 1200 point purchase would get you 24 points back or about 30 cents in real money.  It would more or less take fifty purchases of 1200 Microsoft Points to rack enough points in rebates to cash in on a 1200 point game.  The fine print of the MyAchievements page says that you can earn up to 30,000 Microsoft Points but let’s get serious—to reach that you would have to make over a thousand purchases.

Free money is always a good thing but if you think about it, it’s like you are getting a few pieces of change back for a purchase.  No one is going to complain about getting free stuff for simply having to play games (nor should they) but couldn’t there have been more?  Not to start a flame war but let’s consider Sony’s offerings for Playstation Plus subscribers.  Sony has been very generous with Plus members by giving out premium XMB themes, early access to games, discounts on downloadable titles, and free games.  Not only have Plus members received free downloadable titles but also digital versions of retail games (such as LittleBigPlanet and Infamous).  Whether Sony’s online services are better than Microsoft’s is something that people will always debate, but that isn’t what is important here.

The company could have set a big standard by offering even one free game to players in the Legend tier.  Instead, these gamers who have invested a lot of time and money into their Xbox just get a few cents on the dollar back that they might never be able to take full advantage of.  “But free is free!”  I completely understand the point but that isn’t what I am arguing.  If anything, this program feels like half an effort.  Additionally I really do think it is just too late.  This console generation is winding down fast and before we know it, companies are going to be switching focus to their new products.  Would it have been that hard to offer years of dedicated gamers some classic XBLA hits?  Maybe a free month or two of Xbox Live?  I’m certainly not going to stop playing but man…some better rewards would have been great.

Ben Sheene

Ben Sheene

Senior Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ben is from Kentucky where he originally began playing games (an activity he still continues to this day). With a love for writing he graduated from Centre College with a BA in English. He recently moved to California to pursue whatever future endeavors were there. A passion for music, gaming, blogging, and existing keeps him up at night and crafts him into the person he is today.
Ben Sheene

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5 responses to “Xbox Achievement Rewards: Too Little Too Late?”

  1. Jareth Draven says:

    I find it hard to believe any of Microsoft’s gestures are sincere. They’re a bit like the bully of consoles. With that said, it happens to be my birthday month, so bring on the quarter reward!

    • Garrett says:

      It’s my birthday month too, but how do you redeem the reward? Or is it just shipped to your house, or instantly added to your account?

  2. Bdog says:

    Seeing as Xbox Live is 10 years old, this will actually continue. Even with the new console, they will have a version of Live. I don’t see these rewards leaving any time soon. Yes it appears paltry and cheap at the current time. But there is room to grow. The entire Xbox rewards site is fairly new within the last year or so. Most rewards should be sent via an email from the awards list and will automatically be applied to your Live account.

  3. wober2 says:

    Cmon microsoft give us something like ps+. This seems like on the coat tails of the Nintendo Club. At least give gold members better sales, sales to rival steam if you are a member would be amazing. I am planning on leaving xbox live for nintendo network on the wiiu if it is robust enough. If I had a ps3 I would already be long gone. Maybe halo4 will make it worthwhile again, the rewards definitely do not make it worth while.

    • KayOss says:

      I used to have only an xbox360 and a nintendo wii. But I was able to get my hands on a PS3 during black friday about 2 years ago. I joined PSN+ when i first got the console and i have to say that after downloading a bunch of free games it pretty much paid for itself. I now find myself using my PS3 more than any other console. I’m still waiting for Halo4 and forza horizon to come out… but It doesnt seems that Xbox is getting as much exclusive and the PS3.

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