Thursday, July 07, 2011

Three ways to make Gamerscore matter

Gamerscore is a pretty useless thing, really, when you think about it. What's it even for? Judging by the conversations I’ve been delighted to listen in on (usually from the mouths of 5-year-olds who should not be playing Call of Duty), it’s largely a worldwide, pointless pissing contest.

So that got me thinking – could Gamerscore be put to better use than as a measuring stick to see how much money (to buy lots of games) or time (if you’re a completionist willing to find and shoot every pigeon in Liberty City, for example) you’ve got?

Here’s my top three ideas that Microsoft should consider, in my humble opinion:

3. Free DLC/MSP for reaching Gamerscore milestones
Imagine it. You reach 500 gamerscore, you get 500 Microsoft Points, absolutely free. This then leads on to little-and-often rewards for your burgeoning gamerscore – 100 when you reach 1,000, 200 when you reach 5,000 – it could go on and on. Sure, it costs Microsoft a little money, but then, it also inspires gamer to buy DLC – to get more gamerscore, to get more DLC, to get more gamerscore. By drip-feeding the rewards to the gamers, they’ll be enticed to buy Microsoft Points in bulk to fill out the cost of DLC, making the company money. (Ok, scary business acumen section over) Generally speaking, I think most gamers wouldn’t scoff at a few extra Microsoft points for getting up into the thousands and thousands of gamerscore heights.

2. ‘High-rollers’ club’ on and online
Say you’ve got 30,000 gamerscore. Do you want to be playing with gamers who’ve just set out on the path to greatness? Probably not. So the ‘High-Rollers’ Club’ could be your passport to playing online with other hardcore gamers, offering you a challenge you wouldn’t get in the lobbies with the plebs (relatively...). All the big names could be supported – Halo, CoD, whatever, and hardcore gamerscore hunters are rewarded with a challenge beyond the pale.
It would be pretty simple to implement as well, just a little forward-thinking with future games and a Halo: Reach-style tweaking of matchmaking playlists. That said, it’s also terribly elitist....

1. Gamerscore gambling
Taking inspiration from COD: Black Ops’ ‘Wager’ battles, how about using your gamerscore as a wager in certain games? There could be poker or blackjack games hosted on Xbox Live Arcade, or competitions on standard games that have a certain amount of gamerscore as an entry fee - and a winner-takes-all philosophy. It would encourage competition and make use of gamerscore in a meaningful way. It would also be an easy for gamers to garner more and more gamerscore, and then go on to do more gambling... You know, maybe it’s not such a good idea after all – I’m straying close to World of Warcrack’s addictive, reward-based madness here...

So, Microsoft, think it over. And while you’re at it, bung a bit more free DLC my way for my massively huge (not really) 30,000+ gamerscore...

(Photo credit: wondermonkey2k)


I have a fare amount of gamerscore. And i dont think it's completely useless. I like knowing if I play a game to its fullest, I'll have something to show for it. Granted I can't do anything with the points, but none the less they're there and I earned them. Now if Xbox rewarded players for their hardwork, I'm sure more people would try these harder achievements, they would strive for more gamerscore. I would totally support paying for a monthly suscription month after month if they rewarded us for our dedication to the games they provide. Now I don't play games 24/7, but I play on my days off. It helps me unwind. But it would make me play more if I were earning MS points as well as gamerscore. That would be awesome.