Words On Wednesday

2016-10-26 Platinum Trophy Rarity

Talking with a friend recently about the difficulty of certain Platinum Trophies on PSN, I decided to see which of my own platinums was the most rare.

While rarity may not translate directly to difficulty, it is a good indicator of how many or few people decided to play a game to completion. Below is a list of every platinum trophy I have, as well as the percentage of players who have obtained that trophy at the point that I compiled the list.

 

Game Platinum % Date
Sly Cooper 27.9% 8/20/2013
Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy 17.3% 12/10/2012
Ratchet: Deadlocked 13.5% 8/14/2014
Ratchet & Clank 2: Going Commando 10.3% 2/15/2014
Ratchet & Clank 3: Up Your Arsenal 9.9% 7/3/2014
Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus 7.2% 10/25/2014
Ratchet & Clank 7.1% 11/17/2013
Ratchet & Clank (2016) 6.0% 9/3/2016
Assassin’s Creed II 5.3% 1/16/2010
Jak II 4.6% 10/22/2013
Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time 4.1% 7/21/2010
Dead Space 3.9% 6/24/2010
Resident Evil 5 3.0% 12/11/2010
Fallout 3 2.8% 10/8/2013
Far Cry 3 2.8% 3/1/2015
Hitman: Contracts 2.6% 7/11/2013
Skyrim 2.1% 5/20/2013
BioShock 1.9% 5/3/2011
Devil May Cry HD 1.9% 8/24/2013
Final Fantasy X 1.8% 10/27/2014
Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One 1.5% 9/23/2013
BioShock Infinite 1.4% 6/21/2013
Rage 0.7% 7/4/2012

 

As you can see, there is a huge variance in platinum acquisition from game to game. With a mean of 6.1% and a median of 3.9%, the average game in my collection of platinum trophies has about a one in twenty rate of completion. Overall, I would say that’s expected.

The outliers for that table are absurd, though. Sly Cooper is the most popular platinum that I have, with a rate of over one in four. More than a quarter of people who played Sly finished the game in its entirety. I won’t call this completely surprising, since the original Sly Cooper was a pretty easy game, and the requirements for platinum are far from ridiculous. Still, a full quarter of players is more than I expected.

On the other hand, Rage is my rarest platinum trophy. At less than one percent, very few players actually finished Rage completely. Rather than difficulty, though, I think a lot of that has to do with the public opinion of Rage. While I loved the game, the vast majority of reviews and player opinions were terribly critical. Justifiably so, I think, since the advertisements for Rage focused heavily on the shooting mechanics, while the actual game contained way more driving than people expected. As such, a lot of players were disappointed in the game and thus few even finished it, let alone got the platinum trophy for it.

Another variable is the fact that that some trophies require online play (a practice that I find absolutely deplorable. Trophies should judge a player’s skill against a constant and never changing metric). As time goes on, the player base still active online is going to dwindle down to only the most skilled and dedicated players. Plus, this alienates players who do not have a PS+ subscription. If I’ve already paid for a game, I shouldn’t need to pay for something else to finish it.

All in all, there are numerous facets that might make a platinum easy or difficult, rare or common. What I find easy might be nearly impossible for another player. What came effortlessly to early adopters of a game might be an exercise in futility for those who pick the game up several years after its release. Sorting by rarity only gives a small slice of the story.

Looking over my list of platinum trophies was both interesting and informative, but by no means says that I am an extraordinary gamer. I play what I enjoy playing, and I might try to get a platinum trophy if I think I can finish a game without a huge investment.

At the end of the day, they’re still just digital relics that don’t really mean anything. I may have 23 platinum trophies, but gaming is nothing more than a hobby and pastime for anyone but streamers and those who play competitively.

Meta:

Words: 560 | Characters: 3105 | Sentences: 30

Paragraphs: 9 | Reading Level: 11-12th Grade

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