Why did Microsoft waste their time revamping Xbox avatars?

When Microsoft announced they’d be revamping avatars with a new look it was well received by both fans and games media. They were praised for adding things like wheelchairs, protestics and options for non binary people to get an avatar that better represents them. All of that is awesome and I’m glad they did that but I can’t help but wonder why they went through all the trouble only to do absolutely nothing with them since they’ve been released. Looking at the Xbox avatar store and there’s not been much of any updates in clothing items, majority of my friends dont showcase or use their avatar as a profile photo and there’s no video game support for them like on Xbox 360. I don’t think Microsoft has even acknowledged them since they were initially released. There’s not even much fanfare or desire by people for them to do anything with them. Seems like one of those features that Microsoft decided to pursue but ended up being a waste of time. Does anyone here actually want any real avatar implementation?

I’m not super into the avatars and don’t use them. I will say that I was really pleasantly surprised when I saw the video for the new family settings app (which I have no reason to ever use). SO MUCH REPRESENTATION! It was really amazing to see. Props to the crew at Microsoft who put the work in.

I’ve been wondering about this since they first re-introduced them. I’ve always enjoyed the idea of having an avatar and unlocking things like shirts and items by playing games, but it seems like they either forgot about it or scrapped plans for it. I would love to hear something from MS about it.


Yeah it was a weird decision since not even Microsoft themselves use them at all.

I thought they would start using them again for maybe kid friendly games with sports or other stuff but that never happened.

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This feels like my thesis. A lot of work and it just ends up in some drawer.


I used to love my avatar on Xbox 360. Unlocking clothes and accessories by getting achievements was so much fun. I spent a lot of time and effort on that little guy. :slight_smile:

Then Microsoft just totally stopped supporting them. Were they like super unpopular and I just didn’t realize? All of a sudden, games stopped unlocking avatar rewards, Microsoft stopped featuring them in the console OS… it was like they no longer existed even though they still did.

Then the big avatar revamp came around and it was like, wow, Microsoft is back into avatars! But no, after the revamp dropped it was right back to pretending they don’t exist.

So I miss avatars and I hate that they’re in this weird place where they technically still exist, but there’s no support for them and Microsoft never promotes or even mentions them.

Hopefully to bring them back for 1vs.100 2, Crash Course 3, and a new Keflings. Also wouod like to see them on the dashboard again.

Imagine if you could level up your avatar by unlocking achievements, and each level unlocked some clothing and acessories. Games started to give out avatar rewards for completion etc. Basically tie the avatars to progress.


In my opinion it was a waste of time. I never used those avatars.


It’s one of those things with an incredible amount of potential that has gone unrealized. But I feel like it was fundamentally flawed when you couldn’t get a design that would accurately represent yourself. There’s a lot of flair that you can add that was rather inclusive and specific but the fundamentals in creating faces were flawed.

It’s interesting especially when contrasted to Miis on the Nintendo Wii, Where it wasn’t too hard to get an accurate representation of yourself. There’s a whole essay to be written on why that is and I’ll avoid that.

It’s a potentially lucrative business as well and so I find it odd that there is no push to pair this with games or to allow games to support avatars and so on. How about a game like Fall Guys but with Xbox Avatars? It would be pretty huge in terms of getting people to adopt Avatars, to spend money on them, and to do things like unlock achievements to unlock items for their avatars (which should have been a thing day one). Even with last gen games that supported them being brought over like 1vs100 would have been huge for their adoption.

So going back to your original question it was indeed a waste of time if it wasn’t paired with software that gave reasons for people to adopt it, or for gamers to express their gaming accomplishments.

I really like this idea, it could really cute if paired up with a mobile game where you play as your avatar or something too. Hitting gamerscore threshholds would give you stat increases and whatnot.

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They certainly are underutilized. I’m rather fond of mine; I wouldn’t mind having more to do with it and seeing it show up in more places.

I haven’t touched avatars in years. I honestly forgot they even existed to be honest. But the more people that feel involved in the community the better.

This is a good point, it must be difficult to balance featuring something without plastering it everywhere which would be annoying to the people who don’t care.

Ooh, what I’d really really like is something like the 3DS had with Streetpass. A cute thing you can engage in with some meaningless checkboxes and it can provide some minor in-game benefits. Interact with an avatar from such and such country/birthday, unlock a customization option for your Forza car or your Sea of Thieves ship or what-have-you (I don’t play either of those so sorry if that’s a dumb example). This would pretty much have to be on mobile though. I just miss Streetpass :frowning:

I change mine up ever couple of months, because why not?

I’d say it’s a severely underutilised feature though. I’m always surprised that “Avatar Kart-Racer” isn’t a built-in mini-game, like Solitaire and Minesweeper, that ships on every console.