Sony recently launched a social media program called “My PS4 Life,” which automatically edits together a history of each player’s time on PlayStation 4 and releases some of the information in a video. You just log into your PlayStation account, and in a few minutes, Sony will take you through a guided tour of your PlayStation 4 highlights.
Clever players have discovered that the data given in these videos can be combined with the information already available through the trophy system on the console to apparently show how many people have played each game.
You can see an example of one of these videos below.
Well no surprise I've played a lot of War Thunder just wish I'd made a new account for my son, Dimensions and Minecraft :-)— Alabama Shrimp (@alabamashrimp) December 14, 2018
Still there's been some excellent games and I'm sure even more to come@PlayStationUK #MYPS4LIFE pic.twitter.com/zdXztbgd5L
Each video reveals the actual number of people who earned a specific trophy. Sony also releases the percentage of players who have earned each trophy through the PlayStation Network itself. Figuring out what seems to be the total number of players for each game is a simple math problem, once you have those two numbers.
“Here, 33,764 players earned the ‘Photo Bomber’ trophy in Fallout 76,” the reddit thread explains. “And on playstation.com it’s revealed that 8.3 percent of all players got this trophy. Simple math: the total number of people who have played Fallout 76 on PS4 = 33,764 X 100 percent / 8.3 percent = 406,795.”
Fans are collecting the videos that show the necessary information for each game, then publishing what seems to their total player counts. The data isn’t perfect, but it could be the most accurate way we currently have to glimpse these numbers.
“The number of players who have earned the trophy is not updated online, Sony probably took it somewhere between Nov. 20 and Dec. 4,” Gamstat, a website that is collecting the data, says. “So it won’t say much about recently released games.”
Here are the top 10 most popular games on PlayStation 4, according to this method, at the time of publication:
- Grand Theft Auto 5 (51.7 million)
- FIFA 18 (32.5 million)
- FIFA 17 (30 million)
- FIFA 16 (28.3 million)
- Minecraft (25.6 million)
- Call of Duty: WWII (24.6 million)
- Rocket League (22.6 million)
- FIFA 15 (19.2 million)
- Fortnite (16.2 million for Europe and Australian regions)
- The Last of Us Remastered (15.9 million)
There are some caveats here, of course. A game can’t be counted if no video currently exists, or has been found, that gives the necessary information for that title. That means that Gamstat can only track a limited number of games, although the amount should go up as more videos are found and tabulated. The Fortnite information above doesn’t include all regions, for example, so the game would likely be higher on the list if we had all the necessary data.
That makes this information fascinating, as it presents a much clearer picture of player numbers than we’re used to getting, but it’s far from comprehensive.
We’ve reached out to Sony for comment on the accuracy of these numbers but have yet to hear back.