It took blood, sweat, and tears coupled with many hours of toil, but you’ve finally aced that game you’ve worked so hard on. 100% completion, hardest difficulty level. No stone unturned, no mountain unclimbed, no typo uncorrected… and… that’s it. There’s not much else you can get out of that game, unless you just loved it so much that you want to do it all over again (I know a couple people like that). Have you considered, though, that you, the veteran, the pro, the expert, will be treated exactly the same as the player that barely touched the game when the new and improved sequel rolls around?
If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, you know that I have nothing against casual players, and they deserve the same amount of respect that hardcore players do. However, when I look at my vast experience in the gaming universe and I look at all the money I’ve thrown at Valve (the company that developed/owns Steam), I realize that my loyalty doesn’t actually matter. The time I’ve poured into those games holds almost no value outside of the game itself.
Where am I going with this? Let me give you a couple hints: http://raptr.com has implemented a beta version of a “rewards” system, by which logging x amount of time in games a, b, and/or c will make you eligible for a reward in the form of an exclusive ingame item or even a coupon for a real-world peripheral.
Hint #2: Uplay, Ubisoft’s (somewhat hated) DRM system, uses an achievement system: Complete this or that goal in this or that game, get Uplay points that you can redeem for this or that item in this or that game.
Raptr and Ubisoft are harbingers of what is hopefully the future of gaming: Real rewards for serious game play. I’ve already experienced the benefits of both systems. I had had my eye on a Logitech gaming keyboard for some time, and when Raptr notified that I was eligible for a %65 off coupon on certain Logitech peripherals, I saved a good chunk of money solely because I played games in order to qualify for the coupon. I completed a few achievements in Ubisoft’s iOS game, “Assassin’s Creed: Multiplayer Rearmed,” and used the Uplay points to redeem an exclusive ability within the game that I now use on a regular basis.
Imagine a system like this on a much grander scale. What if playing lots of games from x online retailer rewarded you with coupons? What if beating Unreal Tournament 3′s campaign on Godlike difficulty unlocked a feature in another Epic Games game?
Ahh, now you see where this not only benefits us, the gamers, but can also benefit the companies! I’m just waiting, praying that this idea becomes more widespread with online retailers and developers. What are your thoughts on a system that rewards you for playing games and earning achievements?