Sony has accidentally offered players a means to find out exactly how many people have played any given game on PS4, and there are some interesting comparisons to make with PC. Last week, the company released a feature called ‘My PS4 Life’, allowing players to see how much time they’d spent on their favourite games on the console.
One of the categories showed players exactly how many others had earned the same achievements/trophies. For instance, a post on Reddit revealed that 33,764 people had earned the Photo Bomber trophy in Fallout 76.
By itself that doesn’t tell us much, but PlayStation also tells you what percentage of players in each game have earned each trophy and on which platform, so you can use the two figures to calculate a pretty accurate picture of each game’s PS4 population. As of yesterday, 8.3% of Fallout 76’s PS4 audience had earned Photo Bomber – from there it’s simple maths to conclude that approximately 406,795 people have bought and installed Fallout 76 on PS4. This same method can then be extrapolated for any game, as long as you can find out how many people have won a particular trophy.
Since the discovery, enterprising players have found figures for 116 games in total, and have amalgamated their findings over at Gamstat.com. There are plenty of interesting takeaways on offer, from the fact that Battlefield Hardline has less than half the players of Battlefield 4, to FIFA 19’s relative lack of popularity in comparison to some of its more immediate predecessors.
It’s also somewhat possible to compare the audiences of cross-platform games. We can tell you, for example, that Grand Theft Auto V is between 2.5 and five times more popular on PS4 than on PC. It boasts nearly 56 million players on Sony’s platform, while SteamSpy estimates an audience of between 10-20 million (these estimates are, sadly, as accurate as we can get since Valve’s updated privacy settings affected SteamSpy’s ability to access more precise figures).
Fortnite’s audience is apparently surprisingly low, although that 16.2 million figure reportedly only relates to the Save the World mode. Rocket League is several times more popular on PS4 than on PC, with an audience of 22 million, while Firewatch could be more than twice as popular via Steam than on console. Hitman (2016) is at least four times more popular with Sony’s fanbase than on Steam, with more than eight million people having at least downloaded the free demo, compared to an upper estimate of just two million via SteamSpy.
Sony’s drawing from data from slightly earlier this year, which means more recent releases won’t be very accurate. It’s also worth noting the method outlined above isn’t likely to be accurate down to single digits, especially for larger games. If a game isn’t on the Gamstat list, it might be worth checking back after some time has passed, as the website’s operators are still seeking out other titles to add to the list.