A new rumor alleges that Nintendo is working on incorporating an achievement system into the Nintendo Switch. According to a report from Comic Book, an indie developer has confirmed that Nintendo is attempting to add achievements to the Switch – something that Nintendo has now lagged behind on by over a decade.
The concept of gaming achievements was first pioneered in the early 1980s, but it wasn’t until 2005 that Microsoft created a widespread achievements system through the Xbox 360’s Gamerscore system. Two years later, they extended their achievements system to Games For Windows Live, and Valve followed suit through Steam. In 2008, Sony added their own achievements system, Trophies, to the PlayStation Network. In spite of their essentially pointless nature, gaming achievements proved to be a major marketing tool, with modern games typically including the total number of achievements they have in ads and other marketing materials.
Twelve years later, Nintendo still has no achievements system.
But according to the devs who created Lichtspeer, an indie game available on Steam and PlayStation 4 which has since been brought over to the Nintendo Switch, the gaming giant is “definitely working on” an achievements system.
According to Destructoid, the reveal came during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) being conducted by the developers, in response to a question regarding whether the game had online rankings. The response of the Lichtspeer devs covered a bit more than the question intended, as they discussed the fact that Nintendo was working on leaderboard and achievement support.
While the question was buried deep in the comments, the answer quickly rose to the top of the thread.
When someone finally got around to questioning them on their response, the developer who had previously responded replied, “Move along. Nothing to see here,” and added that they had a feeling that Nintendo had hinted about achievements a few times in the past.
It is unknown what, if any, effect that achievements and leaderboards would have on Nintendo’s sales, but the gaming giant definitely needs some help; a recent rumor has it that the Switch just passed 5 million console sales worldwide. That still places the Switch as the fastest-selling gaming console of all time, but Nintendo has a lot of ground to cover to catch up with rivals Sony and Microsoft, or even their own console sales if they hope to match their stated goal of the Nintendo Wii’s 101-million units. Considering that 2012’s Wii U was an absolute flop, selling only 13.5 million units over its five-year lifespan, Nintendo has work to do to get back in the game.
Bringing their online environment up to modern standards would be a step in the right direction. Achievements and leaderboards, however pointless some might find them, are a part of that. If this rumor is true – and there’s good reason to believe that it is – it is hopefully a sign that Nintendo may finally be getting themselves back in the game.
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