How we are handling the Windows Phone shutdown on game pages

By Rich Stone,

With support for Xbox achievements on the Windows Phone platform now removed, we've had to make some changes to how those now-Discontinued achievements are handled here on TA. Here's the lowdown...

This week saw the closure of the Xbox Live service for Windows Phone games. This means that it is now impossible to unlock Xbox achievements on the Windows Phone platform.

The TrueAchievements Game Info team has traditionally removed all other achievement flags from an achievement when it became discontinued in order to make things as simple as possible for a user when viewing the game pages.

However, given the loss of achievements from an entire platform, and the amount of data that would be lost if we applied that rule to all Windows Phone achievements, we have decided to do things slightly differently in this instance.

Please note that these changes only apply to games that are only playable on the Windows Phone platform — there are 283 of these games.

All Windows Phone achievements now have the Discontinued flag

We have applied the Discontinued to all achievements in Windows Phone-only games that didn't previously have a Discontinued or Unobtainable flag — this amounts to an extra 4,478 achievements worth a total of 52,335 Gamerscore.

Rather than remove the existing achievement flags, we have hidden them by default.

Changes to Windows Phone game pages

When you view a Windows Phone game page (for example Temple Run 2), you will notice several things:

  • As would have happened previously, all the achievements will only have a Discontinued flag when you load the page.
  • When you click on the Filter button, you will see a new warning message to say that all the achievements are now Discontinued. However, you will also see the counts of the original flag types, and a new checkbox that allows you to Reveal non-Discontinued flags. Ticking this and clicking apply will show all the original flags, along with the Discontinued flags, against each individual achievement. You can also filter the achievements using the original flags.

Why change how Discontinued achievements are handled?

We believe that deleting the original achievement flags for these achievements would be a loss of useful historical data. It would have also resulted in any of your own personal achievement unlock flag counts being incorrect, should we surface those numbers at a later date.

We feel that changing the flag system in this way not only keeps the game pages simple to understand for our users, but also allows us to preserve important game and achievement data.

Will we apply this to all games with Discontinued achievements in future?

We will discuss any further implementation of this change to flag policy with the community and Game Info team before making any changes to non-Windows Phone games. We felt that an entire achievement platform shutdown made this change necessary, but we will gauge the response before applying it to any other titles.
Rich Stone
Written by Rich Stone
Yo! Rich here - I was the one that created TrueAchievements back in 2008 as I felt the Xbox Gamerscore system could be improved. The site has evolved massively since then and it's now the biggest and best Xbox community on the planet! Racing games and open world shooters are my thing, but I'll give most genres a go. Except RPGs - those things are evil.