Editorial: Achieve-a-holics

I expect it will be extremely common
A future Xbox achievement?

Hello, and welcome to Friday! I have previously written about games collections, today I will be talking about a different form of collection. Trophies, score, points, however a platform names achievements in its games, this measurement of gaming prowess is greatly sought after by many.

Individual games have had their own forms of achievements in the past. Star Ocean 3 had a list a list of 300 battle trophies that could be attained during play. With the launch of the Xbox 360 in 2005, Microsoft became the first major company to tie achievements across multiple game into one user profile. When Sony launched the PlayStation 3 almost a full year later, there were no achievements to begin with; however in July 2008 trophy support was added to the console with many games getting trophies added to them via patches, such as Disgaea 3.

Upon releasing The Orange Box on Steam in 2007, Valve added achievements to the new games in the package including Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Portal and Team Fortress 2. Unlike the Xbox 360 achievement system, Steam achievements do not award players with a unified point value that can be seen across all games, though they are viewable through a player’s profile.

The name, roughly translated means 'I have no life'
986 achievements

Blizzard implemented achievements into World of Warcraft when they released patch 3.0.2 in October 2008, shortly before the release of the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. A year later a Taiwanese player ‘beat the game’ when he managed to obtain all nine hundred and eighty-six achievements available during patch 3.2.2. With the release of Cataclysm it is not unusual to see players with over ten thousand points, in fact, Blizzard added a special achievement for reaching nine thousand points. No prizes for guessing the reference there. All Blizzard games and expansions since have had achievement support upon release, including Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3.

Achievements add replay value to many games. Some may require a player to complete missions in a specific way, or to complete side story content that may have otherwise been skipped. Achievements themselves can drive sales of games. Cheap games with easy to acquire achievements are often bought by dedicated gamers. A colleague I work with spends almost all his free time trying to platinum every game he can get his hands on before trading it in for the next.

I enjoy collecting achievements myself. In between playing Lego Pirates of the Caribbean with my son I would play by myself to acquire extra currency, achievements and characters. All this came to an end when he tried playing by himself and managed to save a new game over the old, erasing all the effort I had we had put into the game. Maybe one day I will play the game again to complete all the achievements, throwing more hours at a game that, in past console generations, may have sat on a shelf gathering dust or been traded in. This is a future we find ourselves in, where games can be enjoyed not for anything that that a developer has added into their game, but for the simple bragging rights that come with finishing a game fully.

Have you spent time filling out your trophy collection? Is your Gamerscore a thing of legend? Let me know in the comments!


  1. I remember when Ethos and Eric J. fought the Trophy Wars.

    Like every other war, America won. Fuck yeah, America!

  2. If I like a game a lot, and the achievements aren’t an impossible huge pain in the ass, I’ll go for the achievements. Examples of games where I have every achievement include Bastion and FFXIII/FFXIII-2. Generally though, I don’t care too much one way or the other about achievements.

  3. I enjoy going for trophies where the achievements are doable. Anything that would require hours of grinding is not for me though.

  4. I’ve been collecting trophies for pretty much as long as I’ve owned a PS3. I do try to get the platinum for as many of the games that I play as I can. I don’t have a counterargument for those that claim achievement hunting to be pointless, but I enjoy it nonetheless, particularly with games that take a lot of effort, like Disgaea 3 and 3D Dot Game Heroes.

  5. This topic is for ME. I try to platinum every game I can and I absolutely loathe it some of the time. It’s just a hang up I have where I don’t want to start a new game until I see that any and all progress gauges read 100%. Sometimes it’s fun to do that stuff but a lot of times it’s just pain but I can’t play a new game until it’s maxed out. It DRASTICALLY is reducing the number of games I play a year. I only play like 2 a year now.

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