Nintendo Speaks Out About Achievements

Achievements have all but taken over console and PC games over the past few years, but the one console maker that has yet to jump on board is Nintendo.  And if the interview Kotaku did with Nintendo’s Bill Trinen is any indication, we won’t be seeing them hop on the bandwagon any time soon.

“When they create their games, [Nintendo’s designers] don’t tell you how to play their game in order to achieve some kind of mythical reward.  Basically, the way the games are designed is they’re designed for you to explore the game yourself and have this sense of discovery.

To that end, I think that when you look specifically at games from EAD [the group long led by Mario and Donkey Kong creator Shigeru Miyamoto] and a lot of other games that Nintendo has developed a well, there are things you can do in the game that will result in some sort of reward or unexpected surprise.

In my mind, that really encourages the sense of exploration rather than the sense of ‘If I do that, I’m going to get some sort of artificial point or score that’s going to make me feel better that I got this.’ And that, to me, is I think more compelling.”

While Bill Trinen also said that Nintendo is “not opposed to Achievements,” he did confirm that the 3DS will be shipping without them.


I understand what he’s saying – doing a little more exploration and unlocking an in-game reward is a very fulfilling experience, but is there any reason that we can’t have an achievement system on top of that?  I don’t personally think that achievements have to necessarily mean that you develop the game differently.  That said, I love achievements/trophies and I’m very glad to see them being adopted by virtually everyone else in the gaming industry.

For me, I love having a sort of ‘report card’ that shows how much I’ve done overall and I constantly find myself playing through games a little further just to mop up those last few rewards.  Especially if there’s only a few standing between me and a platinum trophy.

What do you think of the achievement/trophy systems that are currently in place?

Source: Kotaku



  1. just Nintendo trying to be different again. bit of a mistake. trophies/achievements.might not be for everyone but there’s no doubting they’re popular. I personally love them, they add an extra sense of competition, but I understand why some people just aren’t interested

  2. I’m a bit weird when it comes to trophies and the like. On one hand, the little ‘ping’ noise of a new trophy is such a great feeling, however I never feel compelled to actively go after them (as my low gamerscore/trophy level will attest :oD).

    • I’m like that too.. The only games I actively try and earn them in are my favourite games this gen..
      They are the only ones that I actually enjoy playing through to get them, other games just make it feel like a chore :P

    • because coins are so different lol.

  3. Cant beat the pinging sound of a Trophy…. :-)

  4. Trophies aren’t that important to me. Although I enjoy the feeling of earning the reward, I wouldn’t really miss them if they were gone. Nintendo are still releasing games and consoles you play just for the pleasure of it, the way I’ve been playing all my life. I didn’t need achievements then, and I don’t need them now. Some people play bad games for easy trophies, which is pointless. Good on Nintendo for sticking to their guns and not giving in to what’s popular or expected of them!

  5. ‘If I do that, I’m going to get some sort of artificial point or score that’s going to make me feel better that I got this.’

    Isn’t that what gaming is about? People often like to say trophies and achievement are only artificial but every reward in a game is artificial, even in-game rewards.

  6. I never missed not having any achievements or trophies on the original DS, so I won’t be too bothered this time around.

    Ever since trophies were released, I have only revisited a few PS3 games which are not supported; it just feels as if I’m not getting everything out of the game.

    • I’m the same way. If I want to play an old PS3 game, the first questions I ask is, “does this support trophies?”

  7. I cant say I’m that fussy about trophies, but if I only have one or 2 left to get platinum I will spend the extra time getting them, so I guess that’s mission accomplished for the developer.

  8. I think trophies are essential for all games, they make you try to play every little part of a game for a little virtual award, gotta love the ping. I was never really too fussed about my wii as after completing everything theres no record for it, they should bring it in nowadays

  9. its vital for games that lack exploration, no unlocks and bad game design.. all for bragging rights so do we really need trophies/achievements?

  10. I think achievements and trophies are (close to) a complete waste of time. For people who want to brag or have the compulsion to get every last trophy ever, I see why they’re good fun (or at least satisfying) but as a game device they’re flawed from the off.

    For my money, I want developers to create great games and not worry about crowbarring 100 trophies into a title. Especially where scores of trophies are absolutely unnecessary. The satisfaction of the game should come from the game itself, not some make-believe recognition system that was built to do nothing but massage our egos or measure our gaming todgers against someone else.

    Interestingly, does the recent PS3 hacking now make all trophies utterly worthless as surely people are going to be cheating their way to platinums more so than ever before.

    • Interesting point of view :-)

      I would be right there with you if I thought that achievements actually affected the development of the game. They can be added so easily, with very little thought. Several games have been proof of this, like Terminator: Salvation. All gold trophies just for completing each mission. Some developers don’t even create unique images for each achievement. So it seems to me that they should in no way affect how a game is developed and up until now, I’ve never seen a anything that would suggest otherwise.

      I agree with the part about game satisfaction. There should be more than enough just with the game itself (assuming it’s a good game), but at this point I see no reason why we can’t have both. Granted, I’m no developer, but this has been around for a long time and I imagine it is a very cut and dried thing to implement.

      As far as the hacking goes, people have been hacking achievements since the dawn of the 360, and with as well as it is policed on the Xbox, it hasn’t been an issue. MS will even go as far as resetting your entire score if you’re caught. No doubt Sony will take similar measures if/when they start catching people.

      • For me, if there’s a different way to play part of a game then don’t make a trophy out of it. Make it a feature of the game (eg. killing some grunts with grenades whilst you hang off a ledge instead of using guns). Hell, it’ll bring more diversity to what feels like a natural play-through of the game.

    • Surely gaming has always been like this though? That’s exactly what leaderboards are.

      • I know what you mean, davs, but only in a per game way. Did you score higher than me at Space Invaders? Is your name higher on the scoreboard? Yep. Bravo! *inserts more coins to continue* However, that doesn’t really apply to the achievements and trophies miniature where last night I earned a trophy for crossing a bridge (Enslaved). How delightfully pointless! :-)

        In competitive play on the likes of MW2 leaderboards are once again no problem whatsoever. I just have trouble seeing the justification of trophies, that’s all.

    • And some healthy competition was never a bad thing.

      • some are easy some are hard bunimomike but there great extra for games.

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