Since July 2nd 2008 and the release of a trophy patch for Super Stardust HD, game developers and publishers have been trying to integrate Sony’s Trophy system into their games. Trophies have since become an integral part of every PS3 owner’s gaming experience with those addictive and shiny awards enabling gamers to show off their skills. There is just something so addicting to collecting Trophies. Maybe it’s the noise made when you receive one, the sense of accomplishment or just being able to brag to less skilled friends.
As of January of 2009, Trophies have been mandatory for every game submitted to Sony for licensing; however this was not always the case. Games released before January did not always have trophies out of the box and since then some have been patched in a possible attempt to boost sales, while others are left by the wayside.
Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune was originally released way back in November 2007 to universal claim. However, with the advent of the Trophy system, Uncharted’s developers, Naughty Dog, implemented a patch bringing Trophies to Uncharted 9 months after originally being released. This then set a trend for other, older games, to be also updated to add Trophy support.
Grand Theft Auto IV was patched with Trophies just in time for the Christmas rush of last year, 4 months after it first hit the selves. Along with TV adverts hitting the screens again, the trophy patch helped towards sales picking up after a lull and many people buying it just to get the trophies. Games which had Trophy support were often played simply because they had Trophy support (Alone In The Dark: Inferno anyone?) Recently, Trophies were added to Blackrock Studio’s racer, Pure, over 6 months after release. It’s a similar story for Need for Speed Undercover and Tomb Raider Underworld (See separate story).
Seemingly, a trophy patch is an inexpensive addition that will give a little lift to sales well after they have tailed off. A quick search of the internet reveals retailers selling brand new copies of Pure for only £14.99 (Play.com). From a customer’s point of view, they get a really solid racer for only £15 that they may have missed out on during the Christmas swamp of games and they get to add to their ever-expanding collection of silverware. So it’s a win-win situation for consumers and for developers. I for one would like to see more patches like this for older games that could also see a hike in sales like Heavenly Sword, 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand and Gran Turismo 5: Prologue.
Perhaps this is just wishful thinking, but I think a relatively simple Trophy patch would increase sales of these games and pay back the cost of implementing the update within days. It never ceases to amaze me how hooked some people are on collecting Trophies (including myself) and the more games that have them, the better.