I hear a lot of people mention how Microsoft started out right with the introduction of Achievements and leaderboards and how awesome it was to get points for completing a quest or doing something cool within a game. Soon, Sony followed and introduced trophies. Now that Nintendo is preparing to enter the HD era of gaming, a lot of gamers wonder what is taking them so long to get on the accomplishment band wagon. For this entry in the Bitmob Writing Challenge, I want to explain the reasons behind Nintendo’s reluctance to use achievements on their systems, and if are they justified.
To tell you the truth, Nintendo already has done it. It’s a little thing called Club Nintendo. Instead of only having points on an arcade game — I mean leaderboard — Nintendo gives their fans free games and collectables through this rewards program. It’s similar to level grinding in an RPG. Also, Nintendo believes that a game should be fun, enthralling, and memorable — Not to get a quick point upgrade to be higher on a board that others are competing for.
With Club Nintendo, at least you get exclusive items when you purchase their games and downloads. Sure, it comes with a survey, but it’s quicker than trying to get an achievement in Gears of War or have some trophy in Madden 12. Nintendo provides a lot of games for their hardware and rewards us with exclusive merchandise. You don’t get that with the other systems.
With Street Pass for the 3DS and who knows what’s in store with Wii U, Nintendo could add this functionality, but the problem is will gamers want it? If gamers haven’t picked up a lot of Nintendo games and registered them for the points, what benefit would we get with buying Metroid and meeting special quest elements just to get a 10 point reward with a name? Don’t forget: Nintendo believes in innovation and creating their own path while everyone else who laughs at them will be trying hard to play catch up and still not succeed (looking at the Kinect and Move and how hard they are hustling it).
I can see though if Nintendo did reward people with their achievement point system. Maybe spending those points to make your game library stronger with statistics that show how experienced that person is. Third parties could have tournaments where we bet points on who will win. Do something different and challenging for a change.
I know it seems that Nintendo is trying to catch up with the times, but do we really need them too? As much as people and website talk less and less about Nintendo, would achievements help them with the Wii U? Not really. If you can’t replay a game for missed things or seeing how fast you can complete it, justifying an achievement won’t help matters at all. As long as Club Nintendo is rewarding gamers and consumers with great and exclusive merchandise, the physical rewards will always outdo the digital rewards.