THQ Explains Those Easy Achievements in New 'Avatar' Title, Has No Regrets

avatar.jpgThe latest game in the "Avatar" series is a Gamerscore whore's dream.

About two weeks ago, a video made its way around the Internet showing how one can get 1,000 Achievement points in "Avatar: The Last Airbender - The Burning Earth" ... in about two minutes. The player was shown performing a 50-hit combo, and in the process gets all five Achievements.

After learning about the tough Achievements in "Call of Duty 4" and "Gears of War," I decided to ask THQ what was up with the easy ones in "Avatar." Jon Cartwright, Director of Production at THQ's Australia studio, lays it out for us.

An excerpt from Cartwright's responses:

We weren't overly surprised that adults could get the Achievements as quickly as they did. If someone's been playing fighting games for years then the Achievements in "Avatar" are not going to challenge them too much. But again, we're not targeting that gamer. We tried to focus on the thrill a young kid would get when he/she receives his/her first Achievement.

Multiplayer: How did you come up with the Achievements for "Avatar"?

Cartwright: The game teams talk about these things themselves, we talk with our marketing partners, and of course we talk with Microsoft about it.

Multiplayer: What is your general process for choosing Achievements? What makes a good Achievement?

Cartwright: You have to look at the target market to a large extent, as well as what the game is about and what the player is going to do whilst they play. Whilst a game like "Saints Row" that's a huge open-world experience may reward the player for the number of hours they play or the distance they cover on foot or in a car, that's irrelevant for a linear kids action-adventure game like "Avatar." A lot of titles have very hardcore Achievements that are totally appropriate for the type of game and target market that they have, but with "Avatar" we needed to make the Achievements more accessible for a younger audience.

Multiplayer: Did you think it would be that easy for someone to get all the Achievements so quickly?

Cartwright: Certainly the achievements were set out with kids in mind. Whilst we know there are a lot of older folks who enjoy "Avatar," the target market for the game is kids who love the show! We weren't overly surprised that adults could get the Achievements as quickly as they did. If someone's been playing fighting games for years then the Achievements in "Avatar" are not going to challenge them too much. But again, we're not targeting that gamer. We tried to focus on the thrill a young kid would get when he/she receives his/her first Achievement. We feel having some easier Achievements make the whole Achievement system more accessible to a younger audience.

Multiplayer: In retrospect, would you have made the Achievements differently?

Cartwright: We were happy with the Achievement system for "Avatar" and are glad that people are talking about it. While the Achievement system has proved easy for some gamers, we are happy to have made a great game for fans of the TV show. At the same time, we are always reviewing customer feedback regarding all aspects of gameplay. And we certainly will take any feedback we receive on the Achievements in "Avatar" and will use it to continue to improve on future titles.

Got an Achievement on your mind that you’d like to know more about? Let us know!