Ten Years of Trophies: PlayStation Trophies are a Decade Old

Back on July 2, 2008, the PlayStation Network launched the first ever Trophies for PlayStation 3 games. Sony was a bit late to the game as Microsoft had achievements instituted three years before that in 2005. As excited as I was for PlayStation games to finally get the trophy system, I wasn’t really there at the outset. On June 10, 2008 I had been in a pretty bad motorcycle wreck–one that sent me in and out of hospitals for surgeries and full of medications that left me less than coherent for the next couple of months. Trophy supported games were also quite rare in those early days. I spent much of 2008 playing and replaying Metal Gear Solid 4, which didn’t get a trophy update until 2012.

The first game that had trophies was Super Stardust HD. My first trophy came on October 12, 2008 in Linger in Shadows, a game that was more of a tech demo and had one of the easiest trophy lists on the PS3. Soon after that, games like Dead Space, Rock Band 2, Resistance 2, and LittleBigPlanet added to my trophy list, bringing my total to 176 trophies by the end of the year. Oh, sweet summer child. I look at that number now and shake my head. I thought I was really excited about trophies back then, but to look at me now, you’d never know it.

My first Platinum trophy came on May 18, 2009. Platinum Trophies equate to Xbox’s 1000 Gamerscore meaning that you’ve effectively completed everything the game tasked you with doing. That first Platinum got me hooked. By the end of 2009, I had 10 Platinum trophies, and I had no idea that was the start of a journey that would define the next decade of my life. July 2, 2008 was a day that started an entirely new cultural phenomenon. It inspired entire websites and a new way of thinking about video games and how we interact with them.

I’ve now heard that ding 13,805 times marking my own accomplishments. 188 of those are Platinums, and many more make up 100% lists that don’t include Platinums. Some were a pain in the ass to earn, and some are easy early trophies in games that I never cared to continue much further. I’m also proud to say that none of them are from Hannah Montana or other “easy” games that trophy hunters sink so low as to play in order to pad their numbers. That’s my own (very truncated) trophy journey. You can follow some of my other trophy exploits on last year’s Trophy Theory column.

Trophies by the Numbers

Sites like PSNProfiles track nearly 2.5 billion trophies earned across PS3, PS4, and Vita, and that’s only accounting for the 3.5 million profiles that they actually track. There are nearly 80 million PS4s in the wild now, so trophy tracking sites are really only tracking a small percentage of the overall PlayStation Network player base.

There are nearly 220,000 trophies available across more than 7,000 PS3, PS4, and Vita games that can be earned by any one player. The person with the most trophies in the world as of today has 65,402 earned, 1,574 of them being Plats. Suddenly my own numbers are looking a little bit less like an addiction.

Love them or hate them, trophies and achievements are here to stay. They are a fundamental part of gaming now. Part of me finds it hard to believe that trophies have been around for ten years, but I can also hardly remember a time without them (might be due to the head injury from getting hit by a car). One-third of my life has been spent earning trophies. Trophies have been a thing for longer than I’ve been married.

Now that trophies have been around for a decade, tell us your own trophy stories! How many do you have? Are you an active trophy hunter? What’s your personal take on ten years of trophies? Let’s celebrate and talk about these enamoring and immaterial digital achievements in the comments below.