Gears of War 2 Photojournalist Achievement Offline

Hey guys,

We were hoping to find a moderator or get some help from the community here. The “Photojournalist” achievement in Gears of War 2 is unobtainable right now. I understand the game is old and all but it went down with no prior warning. I was hoping to get this achievement back up and running once again for the achievement community.
Please let me know if anyone here would know who to reach out to or if there is anyone here that may be able to get into contact with someone directly. A couple friends and I have just started the Gears series and hoping to complete all of them so really hoping to get this back online. Thanks for any advice in advance!


The best advice would be to just give up now. The Coalition probably won’t respond to you, let alone fix one of the legacy games. It is disappointing.

Never say never… Let’s keep the thread alive… But yes expect resolution in terms of years if ever.


Depending on how it’s coded, this achievement should be fairly easy to keep alive. Not necessarily the photo viewing, just the upload portion for the achievement.

If you and your friends have just started the Gears series, then you should be able to get the Socialite achievement in Gears 3. That one required participating in 30 Vs events, but new players start at 29 events so playing in the current non-changing event should unlock it. However, there’s a similar achievement in Gears Judgment (Sybarite) that I don’t think has a workaround in place for new players.


This is exactly what I was thinking. Even if they decide they cannot reserve server space for it I think they should respectfully either announce a closure date or try to allow people to just click the upload button to unlock the achievement. It would be really cool if they decided to fix this. Because as far as I know the game is peer to peer correct? So this one 10g achievement is going to keep people from completing the game?

I have heard that The Coalition is not very good at responding to people about stuff like this. Pretty ridiculous if you ask me. Especially since they are owned by Microsoft now.

The problem with that is it would require an update to the game, which doing so would require them having an environment to work on 360 games (which includes testing and all that other jazz related to submitting patches and stuff) and they’ve said before it would be too much extra effort/time to do that. Same reasons why they haven’t been able to do anything about any of the other achievements that have since been made unobtainable.

However, what could be possible is somehow allowing the emulator that Xbox One/Series uses to be able to watch for that button in the menu to be pressed and then unlock the achievement that way. The issues with doing that rely on how much control the emulator has over things, like if the emulator can’t forcibly trigger achievements (because normally it would rely on the game itself to do that) then this wouldn’t be possible. Sony has patents related to unlocking achievements from old games inside of emulators which they are now using for the classic games on the newer PS+ tiers, so that could also be another blocker in case Microsoft couldn’t come up with a workaround that doesn’t infringe the patents and they don’t want to license them.

Achievements in Gears 5 are completely cloud-side. This is why they were able to auto-unlock the map builder related achievements when they disabled it, because they can just run a script that adds the achievement to everyone’s unlocks that don’t already have it. 360 games can’t do this because it was a new thing for Xbox One, but it explains why they can do things like this for the newer games and not the older ones.

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Ideally, the game should only need a server running that receives the photo upload and sends a success acknowledgement back to the game. That’s why I said above “depending on how it’s coded.” The server doesn’t even need to keep the images, it can just trash them, and no update to the game is needed. Keeping a service running somewhere in Azure for this wouldn’t be difficult or costly.

Some enterprising person might even look into it, packet sniffing their network when attempting to upload a photo to see if they can identify the image upload attempt. If a common protocol, like HTTP or FTP, is being used, the packet could be redirected to a local computer that sends back a success code to see if that pops the achievement. Though doing something like that probably violates some Xbox Live Terms of Use / Service. But would make for a good “Free Friday” project for someone at TC.


The achievement could be unlocked during Gears 4’s primetime but the community manager at the time said it would only be available to unlock for a short time.

The Gears franchise is currently impossible to unlock 100% achievements by legitimate means. Photojournalist from Gears 2 and Sybarite from Gears Judgment will never be able to be unlocked legitimately. Also, even though i’ve never experienced any problems, Gears 5 has its own issues with unlocking achievements. Gears isnt a series any achievement hunters should get into.


That is interesting and not sure they would be interested in doing all that for a legacy game after what I have heard. I really hope they do not screw over the community. They should at least fix it and announce a closure date that is common for todays standards.

So on that note does anyone know someone from here that is being followed by their Twitter account so we could post directly to their Twitter or something? I saw someone else mentioning that somewhere else and might be the best way to get their attention. Is there any other way to reach out to them with a possible fix?


Well it there is any possibile way or legitimate chance this can get fixed again since they did back in 2018 then there is still hope! I don’t know any other way unfortunately and I’m generally brand new to forums, (sorry about that) but some friends over on TA told me to reply back on twitter and just create publicity in the forums and such. If there is any other ways then count me in :slight_smile:


The more the better! Thanks for tagging alone.

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As a gears 5 Hunter I can’t agree with you anymore. My boost partner’s versus 100000 kills unlocked in advance, but the others’ process tracking stopped up to now, method in this forum doesn’t work too. I advise him to contact TC but they didn’t response

There’s some bugs on the PvE side of things too. Unfortunately, this is the state that the game is gonna be left in. TC has moved on to whatever else is next for them. Best to just accept it instead of holding out for an update from them.

Not to say how ■■■■ some achievements are… for example versus 100000 kills/50000 assists may be the most boring boost I have ever done. Some of my ex-partners even left this game simple because of them

There has to be SOME way to get them to fix this. They’ve done it before, they can easily do it again.

Isn’t there someone at Microsoft not affiliated with the Coalition that would listen? I saw someone in QA got the Soul Calibur 1 codes to work after years.


Yeah like others have said, it should not be an overly difficult fix.

Does anyone know what the chances of the achievement just coming back online are? Because I have noticed over the years it has just become unavailable for gaps of time then came back. I think the last one was in 2018. Does anyone know if the game was fixed then or if it just came back?

Probably have to wait for us to have a community manager. Someone to actually care about our complaints lol.

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I believe they actually had to fix it the last couple of times.

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Maybe go over their heads and tweet at Phil Spencer asking about ensuring first party games have the resources available to keep achievements obtainable. That covers not just Gears but Forza and Halo as well. Not sure what other first party franchises have discontinued / flaky achievements (including the ones from Bethesda and the incoming stuff from Activison), but the current big 3 all have them. Or possibly just focus on Game Pass titles, which would just limit things to Gears. If Microsoft feels those games have value by keeping them on Game Pass, perhaps they should see to it that they remain 100% functional.



It may be worth looking into. Because if it was fixed in 2018 that was not that long ago, may be hope to get it fixed again.

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