While achievements have always been a strong point among Xbox features, challenges have always taken a back seat, often proving scarcely intuitive and used, as revealed by Xbox and Windows Platform Director of Program Management Mike Ybarra, who mentioned in an interview on The Inner Circle‘s podcast that the team is looking at them to make them more social and rewarding.
Ybarra explained that usage of achievement challenges was low. The team is looking at them, and thinking on how they can get more social involvment with users and give developers the opportunity to reward them for playing their games.
Ybarra would also love to innovate in the field of achievements, making them both harder and easier for people to get.
He admitted that challenges were very hard for people to discover, and once discovered, the reward was not as clear as it should have been. When you get an achievement the overall score goes up, and that becomes evident to everyone in your circle, but that did not happen with achievements outside of some avatar items.
According to Ybarra, the question is to make sure that people can show off their gaming accomplishments, and that they feel great about them, and that other people can discover them, and challenge each other to try to get new ones.