Time to start grinding out those Gamerscore points. Microsoft is currently testing some major updates to the Avatar system that would radically shake up a system that hasn’t really changed much since the early Xbox 360 days, over ten years ago!
According to an article on Windows Central, the next generation Avatar system is currently taking shape in Redmond’s Xbox labs. While still in early concept, screenshots appear to show a Career mode that includes levels, prestige ranks, and rewards all contained within a separate but complementary system to the existing Gamerscore model.
Xbox Platform Corporate Vice President, Mike Ybarra has previously stated that there is a feeling around Redmond that Gamerscore is not a good reflection of the totality of an Xbox gamer. With the push from the Xbox One to make the console the central entertainment hub of the Living Room, now may be the perfect time to overhaul the system that reflects every Xbox and Windows gamer’s identity.
Based on the concepts and documents Windows Central has seen, the new Career concept includes Quests to complete certain objectives, such as playing a certain game or using a particular app, which come with their own intrinsic experience points and reward crates. The existing Gamerscore system isn’t going away either, and would most likely be incorporated into the Career system, with Gamerscore points contributing experience points as well. The big thing seems to be the use of quests to provide a more holistic and well-rounded way to level up a player’s identity, rather than relying totally on chasing achievements for a bigger score.
At this time, Microsoft has given no planned release date for this overhaul of the Avatar system, and it’s unknown just how close the screenshots and documents obtained by Windows Central are to any kind of final release. One thing is certain though: when Microsoft released Xbox Live in 2002, it kicked off a massive driver in gaming. The Avatars and Gamerscore that released with the Xbox 360 had a similar ripple effect that can be seen in the modern profiles used by Playstation, Steam, Origin, Ubisoft, and GoG. If we’re due for another major overhaul, Microsoft has the track record on this one that they may just be able to pull it off.