During an interview with OXM, Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford brought an interesting number theory to bat. According to Pitchford, implementing easier achievements or trophies within a game could potentially increase its sales upwards of 40,000 units. The logic behind the theory is that, like early adopters for technology, the gaming industry is home to another niche – but profitable – market: the Achievement Hunter. This specific type of consumer makes purchase decisions based on a proposed achievement-per-minute ratio, and will buy many times more hard discs than the average gamer to maintain a higher gamerscore or trophy count.
“The time it takes is minimal,” Pitchford explained, “because you’re designing Achievements anyway, and you can probably affect your sales by something like 10 and 40 thousand units. If you’re talking about a triple-A game selling between 1 and 2.5 million units. You’re talking tens of thousands of units of impact there.”
“Unfortunately most people in the industry don’t think through it that much. You have designers designing achievements, and they’re the worst.”