While sitting down with Frontier Studios’ Jonny Watts at Gamescom last week, he revealed to Expansive that Microsoft are ‘heavily investing’ in donating to animal charities through Xbox One’s new dynamic achievement system in the upcoming Zoo Tycoon.
Xbox One’s dynamic achievement system means that developers can add achievements on the fly to existing games, referencing current events or related game developments as they see fit, allowing unforeseen events like Skyrim’s absurdly popular ‘arrow to the knee’ meme to be referenced by developers as they appear on the net.
The Team at Frontier however have somewhat nobler ambitions for this new achievement system.
With Zoo Tycon there will be dynamic achievements that reflect real world animal events or struggles, and when players unlock these community achievements a ‘substantial’ amount of money will be donated to a charity or organisation that reflects the real world issue related to the achievement.
For the first time ever, boosting your gamerscore will actively make the world a better place.
‘Take for example the recent Rhino killings in Nairobi park – we could set a community based achievement asking players to save 10,000 rhinos, and when unlocked money would be given to the park or a related charity‘ Jonny Watts, Frontier’s Chief Creative officer explains.
Having studied Zoology before his career in gaming, this is clearly an issue near and dear to Jonny and the team at Frontier, and after several months they have successfully managed to persuade Microsoft into investing more than the cynics might think:
‘This isn’t just a token gesture, Microsoft are investing a substantial pot of money [ into these charity donations],They are really behind us with this ‘Jonny Watts informs us.
Given the recent bad press gaming has had (see the embarrassing blame shifting from gun control to GTA IV in a recent murder) it is great to see Frontier and Microsoft actively using games to make the world a better place.
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