So as any achievement hunter or whore will attest, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Burning Earth is regarded as both the easiest 1000G game AND a blight on the achievement list of any gamer foolhardy enough to take the cheap shot and add a thousand points to their score in the time it takes a box of McCain’s Micro Chips to reach their stodgy conclusion, but how did it ever get so easy? Was it by design or by situation? Well we finally have the answer.
When What Culture blogger Stuart Bedford put together one of those ten a penny ‘Easiest Achievement Games‘ articles he probably never expected a comment from one of the developers of the infamous Avatar title:
Lol I was wondering how long I would wait before commenting on one of these achievement articles. I actually worked on Avatar: TBE and specifically the achievements. Originally we had lots of various achievements for all sorts of stuff the player was able to do. However during final certification Microsoft rejected the game as player 2 could drop in anytime (drop in/out co-op) and get some achievements based on player 1′s progression. Due to the fact that the vase majority of the team had already moved on to the next project, the skeleton crew working on the game yoinked out all the achievements and replaced them with some quick and easily testable alternatives. What a shame and annoying to have that on my resume. Especially given Microsoft not informing us of that issue earlier.
I actually found this to be VERY interesting and enlightening. We often hear tales of woe regarding the certification process from indie devs, but in this case it’s a bigger company working on a larger game and still hitting a brick wall.
Think how different the world of achievement hunting could have been if Microsoft’s cert process was less stringent, or if more resources were inexplicably diverted back to a ‘finished’ title.
Either way, I think I can now say that I am proud to have those achievements in my gaming legacy. I see them as a badge of honour in commemoration of one studio’s struggle against The Man.