Online rankings: Why so hidden?

The more I play games like Super Stardust HD and Geometry Wars I have to wonder what really brings me back playing those quite simple games (compared to games like for instance Resistance or Halo 3) again and again. Sure, they are fun, but I guess another highly motivating aspect is the hunt for a new highscore.

Especially if such a game comes with a worldwide online high-score it’s just a great feeling when you improve your personal record and move past yet another player on the ranking board.

But there is one thing I’m still missing here: A way to really show everyone your high-score. So far most games – if they offer such a worldwide ranking – on consoles make this ranking only available through some in-game menu. Why not make it available to a wider audience by just offering a web interface? It’s only up to some degree comparable but just look what Microsoft did with the Gamerscore: They made it possible for sites like Eurogamer but also to integrate the gamerscore into your user-profile there or create a badge that shows your gamerscore which you can embed wherever you want.

This is one of these feature, that should have become a standard quite some time ago when games like Halo2 or even earlier games provided an online interface for gamer-statistics. Perhaps this would also be a good opportunity for the platform owners to provide some API that for instance automatically publishes various highscores on a central server (naturally only if the game is only available for one platform). It’s not like there is a big difference in let’s say highscores in Super Stardust HD, Geometry Wars or let’s say Puzzle League. So why don’t we already have something like this?