Forget pay-to-win, because the PS Store has become the home of pay-for-Platinums. Given the addictive nature of Sony’s gongs, it was only a matter of time before cunning companies monetised the popular pots, and we’re beginning to see more and more titles leaning into easy Trophies. In the case of publishers like Ratalaika Games – a pioneer of the concept – releases like SEGA Mega Drive port Gleylancer have value beyond their easily achievable trinkets; others less so.
Take the Breakthrough Gaming Arcade series, a long-line of black-and-white titles that apparently peddle Christian values – although the connections are loose. These are extremely simplistic minigames that release every Sunday for pennies, including titles like Rock Paper Scissors. We picked this one up yesterday out of curiosity and were able to achieve the Platinum Trophy in 2 minutes and 31 seconds, earning gongs for “achievements” like losing with a rock.
At the time of writing, there are almost 60 games in this series on the PS Store, none more complicated than a Game & Watch handheld from the late 80s. Other series include Breakout clones from Smobile, of which there are almost 150 already released. Each one is a palette swap: Sushi Break, Donut Break, Christmas Break, Independence Day Break – heck, even Taco Break. These take a few more minutes to complete, but are sold primarily for their Platinums.
In fact, publishers have learned that if they can game the system, they can maximise their income. Many of these games have multiple lists for PS5 and PS4, as well as different regions. It all encourages Trophy hunters to “double dip” because if they buy the game twice – in both the US and Europe, for example – they can get two Platinums, sometimes even four, for their troubles. Some of these games, according to PSNProfiles, have thousands of players.
When you consider that a proper game, like Moss: Book 2, has about 64 players on PSNProfiles, you can see the strategy working. Obviously, the PSNProfiles website doesn’t track all players, and is largely occupied by Trophy hunters, but clearly the tactic is effective. A look at the biggest Trophy cabinets in the world, from players like Hakoom, shows that a large chunk of their 4,346 Platinum Trophies is made up of these kind of games.
While many Trophy hunters also beat big titles as well, it’s clear that these effortless Platinums are becoming increasingly popular. The question is: are they diminishing the importance of Trophies in the first place? We’re not advocating curation from Sony, as we think that’s a dangerous path to follow, but as Platinums edge closer to the 60-second mark, is the whole system in jeopardy of losing its importance entirely?