Leave it to Reddit to parse the tiniest details of a minor feature for PS4 players and turn it into a wealth of data about games. In this case, the feature is the “My PS4 Life” videos Sony recently began offering to players.
In the My PS4 Life videos, which are kind of like those little “Year in Review” videos Facebook offers its users every year, players were told how many other players had earned some of their rarest trophies. It’s a nice way of giving the player a smug sense of superiority over the rest of their fellows, though it is a bit disheartening to learn your hard work has put you into an elite group of tens of thousands of other players.
That’s not the only data Sony provides on the rarity of their trophies. If you visit your trophy list on the PlayStation Network, it’ll give you a percentage of the number of players who have unlocked the same trophies. From there, it’s a simple mathematical formula to determine how many players have played the game in total. And you’d better believe Reddit‘s gaming communities were all over that.
As an example, the original Reddit poster used a figure given for a trophy in Fallout 76. According to the given My PS4 Life stat, it was earned by (at the time the video was made) 33,764 players. According to the PSN, that trophy was earned by 8.3 percent of players. According to the formula, that means the number of people who’ve played the game is 406,795. Keep in mind, though, that’s a relatively new game and may not have the most accurate numbers.
The Redditors have determined the number of people who’ve played over 100 games so far, which are being kept track of on a website called Gamstat. It should probably come as no surprise that Grand Theft Auto V tops the list with 51.7 million players. I was at least a little surprised to see that, of the remaining nine in the top ten, four were FIFA games, while only one Call of Duty game made it. Still, with player counts in the eight-figure range for all of them, it’s nothing to sneeze at.
Also, the only way to arrive at these figures is to have a video with the necessary information on a rare trophy — and for smaller games, that possibility is even smaller than popular ones. Some regions may also have different trophy lists for the same games. This means the list as it currently stands shouldn’t be taken as an ironclad indicator of the PS4‘s player count numbers, but it’s still a cool peek behind the curtain.
It’s worth nothing this scrutiny may have crashed the My PS4 Life creation page on Sony‘s website, as I tried several times to make my own and failed. We’ve contacted Sony to find out how close to the mark the Redditors got, and will update if we hear back.