I am no longer playing Xbox
I have had an Xbox since 2001. I enjoyed my first experience with Xbox Live, playing MotoGP and Unreal, and later Halo 2.
Then the Xbox 360 released. I didn't get it at launch because it came out right around when I had a kid, and was focused on that for a bit, but as soon as I could, I picked one up. Soon after, I popped my first achievement:
I didn't understand what they really were at first, other than things that popped up as you were playing. So I continued enjoying games and if I got achievements in them, I did.
My first realization that achievements could be a competitive thing, and a fun thing to go for was when the original Old Spice Challenge became a thing. In it, you were challenged with earning a whopping 1500 gamerscore over 2 months
to win a prize from Xbox!
I started out playing the few games I owned, and was struggling to get the gamerscore, but then I read on some site that King Kong was only a 6-8 hour 1000 gamerscore and was amazed! How could a game be that quick to get all that gamerscore! So I rented it from my local Blockbuster, and completed it, and with that, I got a copy of Contra for XBLA.
From that point on, I had more of a focus on gamerscore. I was renting games I read were easy gamerscore from Blockbuster, picking up used easy games from Gamestop, and relishing in all of my easy gamerscore that only took 6 hours or so to get each time. Some games I enjoyed ok, and others weren't that great, but I played them anyway.
I also read about this up and coming site, called TrueAchievements. You may have heard of it. I was currently registered with MyGamercard.net and later Xbox360A for their forums, so I did a couple of years of lurking around TA, using the guides when needed, but not registering. In 2011, I decided to sign up, and instantly saw how few achievements I actually had compared to others, and how games I thought were hard had relatively low ratio. We all remember thinking Mile High Club was tough, then seeing everyone had it, right? No, just me?
Fast Forward 11 years, and a million gamerscore later, I've realized I've been focusing more on gamerscore and less on playing games I enjoy. Publishers are pumping out 5 minute or less games with 1000g title updates, and people are buying them up, so this will continue. I've lost my love for gamerscore. The satisfaction of accomplishing something, and getting the reward has become dulled by the easy games. This is why I am retiring from Xbox...gamerscore. I will always play games, and I will still continue to love achievements, but I will no longer buy easy games just for achievements, and if I am tired of a game, I'll move on. I want to play campaigns, which is what I love to do.
My million gamerscore achievement was a fitting one:
And while I knew it wouldn't be my last, I wanted to keep the million for at least a week. Now that week is up, and I am now:
Will I still get achievements? Yes. If a title update comes out for a game I own, will I play it? Sure, if I have time. Will I buy a game solely for achievements? No. I will get back to enjoying gaming again. It was a fun ride to the million, but now that I'm here, it is time to have get back to my gaming roots. I'll play Xbox mainly as normal, but also dabble in PS5 and Switch games when I want.
So am I retiring from Xbox? No, never. I am however giving up on gamerscore.
Enjoy games, life is short!