Last week, PlayStation rolled out a fun, fan servicing programme for PS4 players called My PS4 Life, which revealed each owner's most played games and rarest trophies in a series of personalised sizzle reel videos. While most of us were gaping over our thousands of hours spent in the likes of Destiny 2, Overwatch, and Fortnite, one Redditor devised a methodology for revealing the player counts for each game featured in every player's My PS4 Life highlights.
The video shows the number of players who obtained your rarest trophy, and this can be used to calculate the total number of people who own the game on the console using a bit of mathematical wizardry. "33,764 players earned the 'Photo Bomber' trophy in Fallout 76", explains Gamestat on Reddit. "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."
Using Gamestat's calculation, players have been correlating their My PS4 Life videos to discover player counts for every game on the platform, and amassing the results into a single, unified database on gamestat.com. According to the ongoing ranking, GTA 5 is the game with the most PS4 players in total, with over 51,700,000 users. Rockstar's open world is followed by three successive FIFA titles (no surprise there), while other notable winners include Rocket League (22,600,000), Minecraft (25,600,000), and Call of Duty: WW2 (24,600,000).
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This is bad news for Sony, which has historically been cautious to share any insight into the console's install base, but there's some anomalies which undermine the accuracy of these results. For one thing, Sony's trophy statistics are about a month old, so while it's tempting to highlight the fact that Fallout 76 has only 400,000 players, that number is taken from mid November, when the game just launched. Meanwhile, many games, including Fortnite, have region locked trophies, so their player counts only apply to certain continents like Europe or North America.
These numbers are also a time frozen reflection of those who simply own a copy of the game, rather than an ongoing measure of concurrent players. For example, don't mistake Battleborn as being more popular that Fallout 76 simply because its "number of players" is 1,180,000. That simply means that, over the past three years, that's how many people have launched the game at one point in their PS4's history, which isn't as impressive in hindsight.
Sony has yet to respond to the development, but don't expect it to either confirm or deny the estimations, as this seems like an unintended oversight of what was supposed to be a fun Christmas treat for PS4 owners. In any case, you can contribute to the ongoing project by sharing your own My PS4 Life stats on the Gamestat Reddit post.
The state of PlayStation 4 is strong in 2018, but how has Microsoft done over the past 12 months? Here's our Xbox One year in review for 2018.