Trophies have no real bearing on a game. They’re a figurative pat on the back for spending my free time happily gaming and jumping through digital hoops. Colorfully useless check marks, and I love them.
They feed my inner child.
Thank you game, for awarding a trophy that required me to lasso an NPC and throw them on train tracks like a Looney Tunes villain. Thank you game, for acknowledging the effort it took to finally link the First Flame and continue the Age of Fire. Thank you game, for letting me pet the super chill cat sitting on a table and rewarding me for doing so.
Do I need this metaphorical “good job!”? Nah. I’ve happily sunk hundreds of hours into my Switch with none of that. But I love ’em anyways.
Trophies add an extra layer of delight to a game, as well as an incentive for playing in a way that you perhaps otherwise wouldn’t. Picking up on this feeling, some game designers lace their trophy titles' with jokes or program a trophy’s trigger point at a particularly satisfying moment. Obtaining the trophy itself can become that epic moment. I’m truly in awe of all the players that obtained the platinum on any of the Soulsborne games. They’re cool little marbles to collect over the course of a digital journey. Pretty to look at, and practically useless. But they don’t have to be useless.
There comes a point in a gamer’s life where they’ve experienced a game so thoroughly that it becomes hard to go back. With all achievements achieved, every collectible collected, the lustrous allure to play the game you still love so deeply may slowly transform into a faded sepia-toned memory of the joy you once felt.
I think resetting trophies, or giving them the New Game + treatment, can help restore that shine.
Allow me to reset my trophies so that jumping back into a game I love feels fresher. Or even better, let me NG+ my trophies — call it NT+. Put me back to 0% with a little indicator letting me know that I’ve obtained the platinum before.
So the question comes to mind, why the heck isn’t it possible?
I can't find an official reason why. Forums around the web don’t have verified reasons for it, just theories and speculation. For example, there’s the theory that the data is baked into the infrastructure of a player’s profile/Gamertag/account, which makes it difficult and expensive to alter. There are a handful of other theories, but that one seems the most plausible to me — as a layman with little knowledge of data architecture.
There could be a SUPER good reason why it’s not possible, but no one seems to know for sure. I’ve reached out to Sony for an explanation, though I haven’t received any response. If it were possible, it would simply benefit everyone. Gamers, studios, online communities, all of us!
If players were allowed to reset trophies for whatever game they wanted, that game instantly becomes more replayable.
Let me give you an example. I absolutely adore Remedy’s Control and all of its immaculately weird vibes. Control is the only game I’ve platinumed on both PS4 and PS5 with all its DLC. I want to go back and play it again, but knowing I’ve done literally everything the game has to offer, including the super obscure secret stuff… I’m less inclined to go back for another round.
With NT+, the gamer wins and so do the studios.
For games that have extra content available for sale, it’s an instant win for studios to have players more engaged with their games. If the game has a digital marketplace, there’s a higher chance players will wind up eventually buying additional content to spice things up on subsequent playthroughs.
Now I’m not gung-ho about microtransactions, but they’re an established part of the gaming ecosystem. If we’re going to have them flood our vision anyways, I’d like extra functionality in return that makes them more worthwhile and attractive. That functionality can also come in the form of a Trophies reward system. Just like any game where you complete a quest and receive a reward, players should be able to redeem trophies for something.
Take the “Playstation Stars” program for example, where you obtain Points for completing tasks or buying games. You can redeem these Stars Points for digital collectibles or better yet — GAMES! PlayStation could theoretically assign each trophy a Stars point value, and allow players to rack up that digital currency through trophies. Game more, get more games, repeat. Everyone profits. Assign a lower numerical value for NT+ so that players don't abuse the system and boom, you have a system that is both fun and extra rewarding.
Allow the trophy to shine with the value its namesake demands.
There are a few considerations I won’t explore in depth here, such as how NT+ would affect Trophy level / Gamerscore — in the end I believe it should be up to the player whether they want to mess with it. And I haven’t touched upon Trophy Hunters, though I’m genuinely curious what they’d think about the NT+ function! We might have to explore that in another piece, but until then, keep gaming!
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