Microsoft introduces new rules for Xbox game developers to fight spam games

What You Need to Know

  • Some developers release "achievement spam" games in the Xbox Store that only take a few minutes to complete, with achievements that can be obtained with little or no effort.
  • Microsoft is cracking down on these games with new rules added to their Xbox game certification requirements.
  • In the future, new Xbox games must have achievements that take more than a few minutes and require adequate player participation to earn.
  • Aabs Animals, a 2013 game recently released on Xbox where players simply look at a cat and earn achievements for it, is an example of the type of game Microsoft is fighting against.

The Xbox Achievements system is a great feature that encourages players to try out and play new games, but there has been a growing number of "unwanted Achievements" games in the Xbox Store that take advantage of it. These games are designed to be completed extremely quickly, and their Gamerscore Achievements can be obtained with little or no effort.

In an effort to stop the flood of these games and prevent them from flooding the market, Microsoft has made some additions to their certification requirements for new Xbox games (via TrueAchievements). Specifically, these new rules were added to the XR-055 Achievements and Gamerscore requirement, which can be read on pages 2661-62 of Microsoft's Game Development Kit documentation.

The changes start with the following addition to the XR-055 description: "Unlocking achievements in the base game or a content update should represent a deep exploration or commitment to the game's content." Essentially, this means that players really have to achieve something to get an achievement.

Aabs Animals, a game where you do

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