It may not be the long-awaited shopping cart, but the Epic Games Store is very close to implementing achievements, bringing it to parity with most other gaming platforms. First launching in December 2018 days after its unveiling at The Game Awards, Epic has come under fire for its PC storefront’s tendency to secure PC versions of games exclusively for a certain length of time. While the power of Fortnite is strong, there’s still a big desire from lots of players to continue their collections on Steam rather than transfer everything over to a new launcher. The anger over exclusives has subsided in 2020 as the exclusive deals have happened further from launch, but it caused some developers to receive hate and death threats throughout 2019 as Steam pages were taken down without warning.
Epic’s storefront was also met with vocal resistance from many in the PC gaming space due to its lack of what’s seen as basic features. In the last year and a half, the store has slowly grown to solve most of those issues, expanding to support more and more publisher’s games along the way. Still, a big thing that’s still missing is an achievement system on part with every other gaming platform not run by Nintendo.
Today, Epic Games announced a prototype that will hopefully lead to a robust achievements system for gamers on the Epic Games Store. The announcement tweet advises that the feature will only be available for certain games at this time, and doesn’t specify which games those are. The tweet does seem to show popular survival game ARK: Survival Evolved as one of the earliest products to implement the system, which would be easy to do considering that ARK already has achievements on Steam. The system seems to be an open test that might not even appear to all users, but the launch could indicate that achievements are on their way within the next few weeks or months.
Launching an achievements system years after your storefront launches does come with some problems. It’s likely that many games will not be able to reward achievements retroactively, although some do have that built-in for Steam’s system. Also, no one is sure if Epic’s achievements will have a meta-layer like Xbox’s Gamerscore or Sony’s similar total number of Trophies. Steam achievements are nice to have because they’re designed for games from the start at this point, the types of players who really obsess over these systems may have less incentive without some sort of overarching system.
Still, it’s nice that Epic Games is finally delivering one of the most requested features of its Epic Games Store. Despite what some Steam diehards might argue, the store has turned into a true Steam alternative that storefronts like Origin and uPlay just couldn’t provide. It has given developers different options for their launches, injected more money into the market, and forced Steam to innovate with its app after letting it stagnate for years. And it’s all thanks to the power of Fortnite.
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Source: Epic Games/Twitter