Discover more from The Shortcut
Mirror's Edge developer thinks Achievements and Trophies are 'bad for gaming'
Developer Fredrik Thylander admits his opinion will be unpopular, but do you like earning Achievements and Trophies?
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Achievements are bad?
👎 A developer who worked on Mirror’s Edge has taken to Twitter to express his dislike for Achievements/Trophies
😤 Fredrik Thylander thinks they “disrupt and divert attention” and eat up resources
🏆 Microsoft introduced Achievements with the launch of Xbox 360, and Sony followed suit a few years later on PS3
🎉 Trophies and Achievements have become synonymous with gaming, and have been adopted by several other platforms
Developer Fredrik Thylander, who previously worked on Mirror’s Edge and Battlefield, has taken to Twitter to express his views on Xbox Achievements and PlayStation Trophies. And he’s not a fan.
As spotted by True Achievements, Thylander, who is now the lead gameplay designer at Ubisoft Massive, believes the introduction of the two popular achievement systems has been bad for gaming as a whole.
Thylander believes that Achievements and Trophies can narrow a game down and ultimately serve to disrupt and divert a player’s attention. He also claims that implementing the in-game milestones can eat up a studio’s resources, which could be used to make a better game.
Thylander admits his view may be unpopular, but it’s true that not everyone likes the little toasts that pop up when you complete specific feats in a game.
I’m personally a massive fan of Achievements and Trophies and enjoy collecting them as I progress through a game. I’ve specifically replayed many of the best PS5 games and best Xbox Series X games solely to get every last Trophy and Achievement available.
I even wrote about how my Apple Watch Series 8 makes exercising and staying active feel more rewarding by using gamification and an achievement system in The Short Stack #8.
I didn’t always feel that way, though. At first, I would put too much pressure on collecting the virtual rewards – and eventually started to avoid games that didn’t offer well-designed Achievements.
However, my relationship with Achievements and Trophies is far healthier now. I only invest in collecting them if I’ve really been enjoying a particular game, and if it’s clear I won’t have to sacrifice hours of my time to earn them.
Achievement systems are here to stay, too. After Microsoft first introduced them during the launch of the Xbox 360, Sony followed suit a few years later on PS3. Digital storefronts such as Steam, GOG and the Epic Game Store all have achievements, as well as mobile games.
The outlier in all of this is Nintendo. The Japanese company is the last bastion, of sorts, and one of the few places where you can play games without any sort of in-built achievement system in place.
If you share Thylander’s view and can’t stand Achievements or Trophies, you can always turn off notifications for a more classic gaming experience. That way everyone’s happy.