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After the hype of another great Nintendo presentation dies down, I’m left questioning their future. Not because of the system, which has amazing potential, despite its limited battery life. Not even because of the launch titles, which for the most part, appeared on other consoles in 2016. Other systems have succeeded with these minor issues before. What is really troubling is Nintendo’s lack of an achievement system in 2017.

On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal. Most people aren’t hardcore trophy hunters, but we do exist. Look no further than the success of My Name is Mayo. The game has sold close to 50,000 copies in under a year on Steam and at least 9,000 copies on PlayStation in a little over a month.

While we don’t have a review up on TechRaptor yet, let me quickly sum up the “game” for you. You click on a freaking mayo jar 10,000 times and you are awarded a Platinum Trophy. There is nothing else to it. This is not a game, but people are still paying $0.99 for it. The developer, Green Lava Studios, has now made a cool $60,000.

Now look at the 30-40%, which is Valve’s normal take for a game released on Steam. $24,000 may seem like pocket change for such a large corporation, but My Name is Mayo is just a small example of the depths that achievement hunters are willing to go to increase their Gamerscore or Platinum count.

The lack of an achievement system will hurt Nintendo’s third party sales the most. Why would I purchase the new FIFA for the Switch when I could be gaining Trophies or Achievements on another platform?

Unfortunately, decreasing third party sales is nothing new for Nintendo. They have been struggling to regain third party support since the late arrival of the 64. While an Achievement system wouldn’t fix every problem, why would they continue to put themselves at even the slightest disadvantage ?

Nintendo Switch Presentation Console History

Nintendo is normally one of the biggest innovators in the industry. Look no further than the systems that they highlighted in their own presentation last night . They were even the first to truly kick off a recognizable system-wide user profile with the Mii. Now, before it’s too late, they need to take a hard look at their competitors and see that achievement systems work.

These types of systems sell more games and keep gamers coming back to your console long after it would normally be collecting dust. I loved being able to play Assassin’s Creed 3 on my couch with the Wii U screen. By the time I got to AC 4, I decided to pick up the PlayStation 4 version simply for the trophies.

Give me a unified system where I can gain Trophies, Nintendo Switch Achievements, Gold Coins, or whatever you want to call it on the Switch, your mobile games, and the next handheld, and I will be all over them.

I truly hope Nintendo has a hidden achievement system under that crazy Mario cap, otherwise this may end up being the Wii U all over again.

Will Cravens

Staff Writer

  • eltonBorges

    I must say that’s a little extreme, but I do prefer the lack of achievements. But, for the people that like it, maybe we might see them in other forms. Hyrule Warriors had an ingame achievement list, maybe they could add special gear for the mii that you get only under certain conditions. I think Nintendo will allow developers to decide what to do about this. I am MUCH more worried with the fact that you now need to pay for online.

  • jaygerbomb

    Eh, the only thing I’ve ever cared about with regard to achievements was actually hearing that “plunk” associated wtih them on the 360. I don’t care about the actual score or anything, just thought it was cool to hear it meaning something significant happened. Trophies, Steam Achievements, etc have all been relatively meaningless and inconsequential.

    Though I do think that totally overhauling their online system, charging for it, and not implementing some sort of achievement system is kind of stupid. What they really should do is implement acheivements in virtual console games – that might actually motivate me to play through these games yet again.

  • R3474X0R

    I doubt many people are so obsessive they’d buy a game on a different device purely for the trophies…
    But; with the lack of those, they will sooner look at different aspects, like amount of games available on a console, quality of the games compared to others, prices, etc.

    On the other hand, small cheap games do get bought quicker on networks that have that trophy feature. This also attracts the people making those to put their game up there. So there is indeed an impact on revenue.

  • Capricciola

    This was a never a major problem in the past. But even if nintendo did end up seeing criticism for this all of a sudden, couldn’t they just do a software update to add an achievement system?

  • Legionarius

    It wouldn’t hurt to have an achievement system. I just hate when people obsess over it, I have a friend on Xbox that finds more fun in just adding to his gamerscore than actually playing the game for what it is. Here’s an article I read a while ago that argues for less achievements in games.

    Basically it says that games shouldn’t reward you for obtaining X number of something, or slaying Y number of enemies with a trophy/achievement. If obtaining X or killing Y is enjoyable and fun then that enjoyment is its own reward.

  • Feniks

    I’ll live. We did not have those when I started gaming and I still do not use them.

  • Sarusig Musicman

    That’s a kekraptor, right?

  • Achievements mean nothing, they’re just participation awards. They don’t matter, and I sincerely doubt they’ll effect sales.

    What I’m more worried about is the paid online service. It needs to have more than just a companion app for mobile phones, or use of voice chat. Those kinds of things, including the ability to play games that feature online multi-player in their online modes, should just come standard as part of the free online service.

    Nintendo shouldn’t have gone down this road, the road of greed. But they did, and here we are. I honestly hope the Switch bombs. Massively.

  • Gallimaufry

    No, what is really troubling is that people need a system to tell them they did a certain thing well.

  • rBeowulf

    Achievements/Trophies are a cancer and need to stop. Set your own goals and go after them.

  • Ansar al-kek

    The peasant switch is outdated even before it’s released. Not surprising.

  • Agt_Pendergast

    I had to double check this wasn’t a kekraptor article. I mean, I could see achievements as a fun side thing for people, but a deal-breaker?

  • Kowalski

    All these people saying achievements don’t matter clearly don’t remember the PS3 lacked trophies at launch, which was one of a number of reasons why it struggled against the 360 in the early days. If the demand for such a reward system wasn’t there, Sony wouldn’t have bothered adding trophy support at all. Nintendo is just continuing in their mission to be contrary, stubborn asses by going against the current and ignoring what is popular or trendy in mainstream gaming, ultimately to the detriment of their financial gains.

  • jaygerbomb

    To be fair, a long time ago in the fairly early days of the 360, MS had a program going where you could get rewards for increasing your gamerscore over a certain amount of time. Usually they’d be simple digital rewards like thems or profile pictures, but sometimes they’d have arcade games, or give you MS point bundles. Due to this, there were times I bought a game for 360 that I would’ve gotten on PC, so I’d get the achievements in order to get something out of it.

  • BurntToShreds

    That’s a good point. Nintendo could add their own spin to the whole achievement thing, as well. They could call their achievements “Medals” and even include some kind of viewing mode where your Mii (If they’re still using Miis) goes into a room where all of your medals from all of your games are displayed in glass cases or something, and you could go to your friend’s medal room and see what they’ve accomplished.

  • Jimmy Donnellan

    Hyperbole is thy name

  • PawnSacrifices

    The whole idea of achievements/trophies was not to gain system sales, rather maintain game sales for that system.
    Appearing first on the X360 as a launch feature, the reasoning was that ‘you’ are more likely to buy a game for the 360 over competing systems to continue to grow your Gamerscore. [originally, back before launch, the idea of being able to ‘cash in’ you score for in xbox-store credits was thrown about]
    However, PS quickly added their own Trophy system shortly afterward and the achievement/trophy thing took on a whole new aspect. Still, I see no reason why Nintendo couldn’t add their own later.
    And being a huge Zelda fan myself, while disappointed at lack of such feature, I’m still gonna play the guts out of this one!

  • onewhiskey42

    We use the trophy system in my group of friends as a sort of friendly rivalry. Losers buy drinks and things like that. It’s not about affirmation in the slightest.

  • onewhiskey42

    Many of us do. I purchased Shovel Knight on PlayStation, for example, as opposed to Wii U or 3ds, simply due to trophies. While I’m no trophy master, my friends and I maintain a sort of friendly rivalry in regards to platinums and total score.

  • Sam Guglielmo

    They still have something similar. You can get something like 3% back on a purchase if you have over 100,000 points, if I remember correctly.

  • jaygerbomb

    Didn’t know that – I haven’t played a 360 game in ages and don’t intend to get a Xbone anytime soon. Still intersting though.

  • ElektroDragon

    Excellent article! I for one am not going to buy a the Switch without a metascore/trophy/achievement system. My Wii U sat mostlyunplayed next to Xbox One/PS4 because of the lack of them. Sad but true. And you convinced me to buy My Name is Mayo! 🙂

  • ElektroDragon

    Well, you’d be wrong. I do it all the time.

  • ElektroDragon

    All you guys saying the metascore systems don’t affect sales are deluding yourselves severely.

  • Sam Guglielmo

    I will fully admit that I am 100% an achievement/trophy whore and our reviews editor can confirm that several times I have specifically asked for PlayStation 4 versions of games just so I can get trophies.

    I know it totally doesn’t matter for a bunch of people. I’m not even sure if it should matter at all. But I love it.

  • ElektroDragon

    Perfectly stated.

  • ElektroDragon

    Indeed sir… Nintendo are making a big mistake. They’ve learned nothing from Wii U.

  • Sam Guglielmo

    Eh, I don’t think it’s a /big/ mistake, but for some people it does matter. It means that if there’s a Ps4 or a Switch version available then I’ll be going for Ps4 all the time, but then again I don’t even know if I’m going to get a Switch right now.

  • Darren McCoy

    Imagine all those snes games with achievements added in.

  • mechlord

    Really, lack of achievements is not what will make or break the system. You use stats of a fringe game…but every other game out there begs to differ. The problem is in the achievements themselves. They were cool a couple years ago when they were new. Devs like to pretend we dont care for nothing other they games, which is why people dont even finish games now. Who wants to play 3 times the same game so that you can get the 3 different endings and 3 special items…? One or two games, yes. But when almost all of the games force you to do it, it becomes a problem.

  • mechlord

    You and i remember history my book, difficult to develop for (leading in turn to shoddy ports) and a very high price points were the issues. Sony added trophies for parity mostly.

  • ScarredBushido

    i only plat games i realllllly enjoy. i don’t buy games that are easy to plat.

  • Alex Barbu

    Achievements are just a gimmick that got popular as far as I’m concerned. I’d rather play another game than waste time getting that illusive achievement everybody brags about.

  • machariel00

    The only real aspect I’ve cared about when it comes to achievements have been the statistics that come with it. It’s interesting to take a look how many have finished a game or even just gotten an hour into a game.

  • I thought the PS3’s issue was being expensive, delayed in Europe and getting ports which ran like shit despite being more powerful than the 360.

    I don’t see the appeal on achievements and since those which are enforced on other platforms are lazy and seem to think they can take the place of unlockable content.

  • Realistically, what could they do for Zelda?

    3 Heart Run? 100% completion? I do like the data of how I play but if the achievements aren’t tied to unlocks in aren’t any way (all 101 objectives in The Wonderful 101 contribute to unlockables), there isn’t much benefit.

  • Some Nintendo VC games have new features like Pokemon Snap having email for photos (it might be the biggest example), while almost everything else has a save state.

    Those are a lot more valuable than a tick to show progression even when they hide it (I hate achievement prompts ruining the mood or surprise of games, the internal prompts by the game are normally okay).

    The PS Classics don’t have online yet but their controller and memory card options are praiseworthy to no end.

  • jaygerbomb

    That’s cool – I hadn’t heard of any additional functionality other than online multiplayer in some cases. I’d definitely like to see more things like that as opposed to acheivements.

  • By that logic we don’t need sporting achievements, world records and the like.

    Really, countries of the world, do you need medals to say that you came first place in an Olympic event?

  • lyra_asriel

    Well said. Games have been around a lot longer than external achievement checklists. Doing cool stuff for the sake of it was a thing long before achievement checklists too.

  • Gallimaufry

    I see, I never thought of this. That’s actually a great idea.

  • Cali86

    Couldn’t agree more. They are just hurting themselves by not including it. For me it definitely adds value to games I would probably have stopped playing, almost like an additional set of missions for a game. Just skipping out on it for the sake of skipping it will have me buying all cross platform titles on my PS4.

  • Cali86

    I don’t think it’s so much about it telling them they did a certain thing well as it is about letting the world know they did. I’m sure the person spending hours playing the game is well aware of their progress.

  • FinalDodo

    Totally agree. Not having some sort of meta system over the top of all played games in 2017 is suicide. I was willing to tolerate the lack of such a system on the Wii and the Wii U, but I won’t pick up a switch until it’s in the bargain bin if there is no achievement system. Go ahead and pour on the hate. I don’t care. I enjoy achievements, trophies, cards, etc…

  • James Jiao

    it doesn’t have to be the same achievements system, but it would be nice to have something innovative that both encourages people to fully explore a game as well as a minor but real benefit for accumulating it. I am sure if Nintendo really wants to do it, they can come up with something more clever and groundbreaking than PS and Xbox combined.

  • Anthony Pennington

    Put it this way. I will get Yooka Laylee on Ps4. If the switch had trophies i would get it on switch.