Sony may have accidentally revealed total player counts

Player counts are rarely revealed these days, but Sony may have just accidentally revealed the total player counts for most of their games.

Let me explain how this has happened. Sony has recently launched something called “My PS4 Life” which automatically puts together a video showing a collection of a players PS4 highlights, such as their total time played, most played games, greatest achievements and so on and so forth. It’s a bit like those little videos that Facebook puts together for you to show your best friends or most liked pictures, except this one is more important, because it’s about gaming, and gaming is life.

Anyway, one of the stats that these highlight videos show is the rarest trophy that the player has unlocked, and it also tells you the exact number of other players that have unlocked the same trophy. It’s this number that is allowing people to work out player counts, because the PlayStation website shows the percentage of players that have unlocked every achievement, so using both the percentage of players that have unlocked a trophy and the exact number of players that make up that percentage allows you to work out the total number of players.

This has all been brought to light in this Reddit thread which was started by a user called gamstat who also included a link to a site of the same name which has so far compiled statistics for 98 games. An example of how to work out the numbers was included in the thread:

“33,764 players earned the “Photo Bomber” trophy in Fallout 76. And on playstation.com it’s revealed that 8,3% of all players got this trophy. Simple math: the total number of people who have played Fallout 76 on PS4 = 33,764 * 100% / 8,3% = 406,795.”

It’s pretty interesting stuff, and using this method to compile information has allowed gamstat to give us an indication of the most popular games available on the PS4. According to this method, the top 10 most popular games are as follows:

  1. GTA V – 51,700,000 players
  2. FIFA 18 – 32,500,000 players
  3. FIFA 17 – 32,000,000 players
  4. FIFA 16 – 28,3000,000 players
  5. Minecraft – 25,600,000 players
  6. Call of Duty: WWII – 24,600,000 players
  7. Rocket League – 22,600,000 players
  8. FIFA 15 – 19,200,000 players
  9. Fortnite – 16,200,000 players (Europe and Australia regions only)
  10. The Last Of Us Remastered – 15,900,000 players

There are some astounding numbers there, particularly the sheer number of FIFA entries. Of course, FIFA is a yearly title and most people buy the latest edition each year, so perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising, but these figures do seemingly show FIFA’s total numbers growing each year (FIFA 19 is currently standing at 12,500,000 players according to this method, but it has only been available for a couple of months). It’s no surprise that GTA V sits at the top of the pile, but the number of players is absolutely crazy, with the game being almost 20 million players ahead of its nearest competitor; it would be interesting to see the full Fortnite numbers (only Europe and Australia are included in these numbers), as it could make that gap significantly smaller.

There are a few things to bear in mind – the statistics listed by Sony are from a limited time window which has been estimated to be between November 20th and December 4th, and there are some games with different editions that have different trophy lists, such as The Witcher 3: GOTY Edition. A game can only be listed if they have been included in a “My PS4 Life” video, so there’s bound to be a few missing.

Of course, it’s important to bear in mind that we don’t know the true accuracy of any of these figures without any kind of official comment from Sony, but so far they’ve kept quiet on the situation. Still, this is the closest we’ve ever been to having a decent estimate or rough idea of player numbers, so it makes for fascinating information. And this has all come to light because Sony tried to put together some personal videos for us all – this is why we can’t have nice things.

Chris is our resident FPS-obsessed football fanatic who, when not playing an FPS or FIFA, can probably be found spending the odd 100 hours or so building his perfect farm on Stardew Valley. Chris comes to you with a hint of cynicism and plenty of sarcasm.

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