Achievements are very useful. Otherwise Kotaku would’ve had nothing to report on Tuesday besides their strange Mass Effect-Week-Stuff. I still don’t really get why now (I think because the final DLC for Mass Effect 3 comes out in the near future but your guess is as good as mine) but I’ve to admit: It’s a very good idea! All those “sentimental” stories from the editors under which the readers can (and will) indulge in their own memories of the series? Ingenious! And of course they repost every review not just for the major games but also all the DLCs they ever published. A perfect way to recycle old content nobody would otherwise give a shit about any more. And of course all of it content (at least until now) fills the page without the need of putting much effort into it. But perhaps the in-depth retrospectives and analysis reports are still to come who knows or, even better, who really cares?
But I wanted to touch on another story published by Kotaku: Half the People Who Got BioShock Infinite on Steam Have Finished It. Not True for That Walking Dead Shooter. The headline basically says it all. He could’ve made it a bit longer I guess but even Kotaku needs their news to contain a bit of actually content sometimes (not always). Okay, enough with the sarcasm. Yes, Kotaku is from my point of view getting worse every day (who thought of that shitty new layout and, even worse, making “Recommended posts” the default view?!) and I especially hate their newfound love for animated GIFs but I’m still reading it so it can’t be too bad, can it? Well, since I also read Jezebel and Gawker I’m not really qualified to respond to that question .
In the report Stephen Totilo notes that 49,9% of all BioShock: Infinite PC-Players got the final achievement in the game (Tin Soldier) and as such have actually finished the game. Definitely an impressive number considering other reports over the years which indicated a much much lower percentage of completion. Remember the story of why the original ending to Eye of the Beholder sucked huge balls (just a wall of text)? Because the publisher argued that only a small percentage would ever see it so they could just phone it in. Even Square Enix said before the release of Hitman: Absolution that only 20% of the players (both PC and console) will ever finish the game. But it seems like even they were wrong: At least on steam 36,2% have the final achievement “A personal contract”. So it seems at least PC-users are more inclined to finish a game. Totilo also notes that Tomb Raider is sitting at 50,0%, Aliens: Colonial Marines at 42,7% and The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct 27,1% which is, considering the quality of the game, still not too shabby.
So it’s definitely interesting to see those high numbers (and seeing someone actually having the idea to look them up). Especially considering huge percentage of players (most of the time 10% or even more) who haven’t finished the tutorial and as such don’t even have the first achievement. And yes, I do have quite a few games myself where I’m one of those people. So many games, so little time. You know that First World Problem. Still developers really love to work with this kind of data and letting it influence the design of the next game by asking the very important question “Why don’t those people play beyond a certain point?”. And I think that’s good. If you see the trend that an unusual high number of players e.g. don’t get the achievement for beating the third boss they can look at it and hopefully come the right conclusions which does not just bring about a patch to make the boss easier. I’m looking at you Blizzard .
The next step
Now of course I would even be more interested in seeing a comparison between the completion rate of PC gamers and console gamers. Sadly as far as I know there’s no real stats page who counts all of the users. All of the trackers I know only track the users registered on their site which of course is only a very small fraction of gamers.
I would even go so far and argue that those who register for such sites are specifically out to get as many achievements as possible and as such should have an unusual high completion rate. And of course no one could track the high number of people who aren’t online and as such don’t even submit achievement data to an online profile. Perhaps if the rumors are true and Microsoft actually makes the next Xbox require an Always-on-connection there will be a service like that. Of course then they would never ever be able to sell 76 million units (current worldwide sales number for the Xbox 360) but that’s a different story for another time.
See you Monday!