Since the Xbox, in-game rewards/achievements have become integrated parts of games. Players can earn them by beating portions of the video games, finding secrets, or completing the entire game. The main appeal is the ability to share your “score” on your game profile and compare it with others. Whether it be Xbox Live, PlayStation Network or Steam, achievements are generally well received and a standard feature in games. However, they provide no value to players besides a score number until recently.
Recently, Sony announced changes to Sony Rewards program that would reward players for earning trophies from PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 games. Silver trophies are worth 1 point, Gold is worth 25, and Platinum is 100. To earn points, you must create a Sony Rewards Profile that connects to your PlayStation Network account. Sony Rewards program offers members points for purchasing games, movies, or other entertainment to earn concerts, merchandise, video games, and gain access to unique sales and deals. Members can only start earning points for their trophies after connecting the Sony Rewards profile to their PlayStation account. All previous trophies earned will not give players anything.
Often, gamers have questioned the value of achievements. They have become so common in games that they become almost an afterthought in players minds rather than a goal. It can be argued that the score recognition is no longer as interesting to players. Whoever owns more games will usually have more points or trophies than others so the comparison to friends loses luster. While there are communities of gamers interested in achievement hunting and increasing their gamerscore, the number of people interested overall has decreased.
Providing a small monetary value to trophies is a good movie by Sony. It incentivises more players to earn more trophies which means they must buy more games. It adds a point value into purchases similar to restaurants for trophies. By connecting it to Sony Reward Program, users feel a stronger connection to Sony and creates a more rewarding feeling for buying certain products from them. It creates a brand community connected around purchasing Sony related products. I wouldn’t surprised if Microsoft uses a similar model in the feature.