The Rabies Blog

Xbox 360 community-friendly blog

Do quality Achievements result in better sales?

An interesting report from Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR) showed up in my email box late yesterday, the subject of which is Achievements in Xbox 360 games. The study shows a direct relation between a game’s quality and quantity of Achievements with its critical and consumer success.

The report, entitled Accomplishments Unlocked 2007, states “…in general, game titles that have a higher volume of Accomplishments correlate with both a higher Metacritic Metascore and higher gross sales in the United States.” It goes on to say, “The results showed a strong connection between a game title’s diversity of Accomplishment types with that game’s profitability – pointing to the idea that the more diverse the Accomplishments available to the user, the more enjoyable the game, higher review scores, more units sold.”

While I would certainly not dispute these results, I am a bit surprised that the most obvious answer to contribute to these findings was not mentioned. Quality game companies that develop top-tier games also devote the time and effort into the creation of a game’s Achievements. Simply put, high quality games usually include high quality Achievements and thus, sell very well.

As an example, Gears of War, Bioshock and Halo 3 are a few of the highest rated games for Xbox 360. These games also include between 49 and 57 Achievements each. Although several Achievements are based on progression through the game, the majority are based on challenging tasks that require players to develop their skills in order to accomplish them.

On the other hand, games like Bullet Witch, Fuzion Frenzy 2 and the horrific Vampire Rain are all poorly designed titles which appear to have been put together solely for the purpose of getting them into the market with little concern to their quality. As a result, Vampire Rain includes only 20 Achievements while Bullet Witch and Fuzion Frenzy 2 check in with a measly 14 Achievements each.

What it comes down to is this; gamers know a good title when they see it. Although the report states that it also, “…found evidence that consumers are taking the time to review the available Accomplishments for a game before making purchasing decisions“, I personally don’t know anyone who has used the included Achievements in a game as a basis for deciding whether or not to purchase it. I’m truly convinced that the relationship between Achievements and a game’s success is coincidental in that, a legitimately good game will naturally include legitimately good Achievements.

Check out the report for yourself and let us know your thoughts on this.


October 17, 2007 - Posted by | Console, Game Companies, Games, Gaming websites


  1. Wayne you would quite simple be gobsmacked at just how many gamers will buy a 360 title simply because the achievements look really easy to get. All you have to do is to trawl to spot these gamers by the bucketload.

    You will also spot the pure gamerscore whores who will play a certain said easy game twice on both if not all three formats to double if not treble the potential score. So take Eragon… a lot of players have played both the PAL and NTSC versions obtaining 2000 instead of the soley intended 1000 total gamerscore from that game.

    I am choosy about my games and more often that not disappointed at times when I can finish the game TOO quickly.

    Comment by bulldog360uk | October 18, 2007 | Reply

  2. I like my gamerscore and while I would have certainly been chasing down a score from any game back in the early days… Now I just cruise through games “I want to play” rather than games that I think can net me more points.

    I am also not a finisher on most games and out of my 100 + games played I have probably only finished a mere 10% – if that.

    And as to did I play Eragon because it was easy, as yep it sits on my gamercard as 100% finished – the answer to that is NO as it was recommended to me as a fun game – and I actually loved playing it.

    Comment by bulldog360uk | October 18, 2007 | Reply

  3. I’ve found that people who want to grab games with easy Achievements will more often times rent them instead of purchasing them.

    Personally, I’ve never gone out and bought a game based on Achievements. If the game’s genre is one that I’m interested in (FPS and racers mostly) and it looks well designed, then it gets my money.

    Comment by rabid72 | October 18, 2007 | Reply

  4. I think you have more game rentals in the US than you do in the UK.

    A lot of people in the UK buy the games and then trade them in.

    I know what you are saying though – I buy the game because I think it will be cool and if I can grab extra gamerscore – then cool !

    Comment by bulldog360uk | October 19, 2007 | Reply

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