Trophy spam developer Game Achievements Ltd, "known" for the Stroke The series, has apologized for creating what it calls "shovelware" and promised to do better in future. Players, however, have not reacted to the apology well, suggesting it comes from a cynical place.
Earlier this month, Sony apparently sent out a letter to developers suggesting that games offering easy platinum trophies, otherwise known as trophy spam games, would be subject to sanctions or possibly outright banned from the PlayStation Store. As you might imagine, this appears to have sent shovelware developers into a panic, and Game Achievements Ltd seems to be one of them.
In a post on the PSNProfiles forum, Game Achievements Ltd apologizes for creating what it calls "shovelware". It calls its Stroke The games "low effort" and says that future games will contain additional content in order to ensure "more value". There are currently five additional Stroke The games in the pipeline, if one can call it a pipeline, and one extra "easy game" in the works, but Game Achievements Ltd says these games will have extra stuff to flesh them out.
The "studio" also says it has multiple "full titles" in the works which will "actually require effort" and include gameplay. For context, the Stroke The games are basically incredibly simple titles in which you rarely have to do more than push a button (if that) to get a platinum trophy. They don't usually contain gameplay in any true sense of the word, and they're just there to inflate players' trophy counts.
As you might imagine, players have not responded particularly positively to Game Achievements Ltd's apology. One comment calls these games "an infection to be excised" and says that as long as the games remain on the PlayStation Store, they will "stand in perpetuity as a totem to the seductive power...of quick-fix exploitation". For the record, Game Achievements Ltd says it doesn't intend to delist any of its existing games.
Another commenter suggests that Game Achievements Ltd is using a "legal loophole" of adding rudimentary quiz mechanics to games in order to ensure they don't count as trophy spam games, even going so far as to introduce "a bunch of DLC packs" based on quiz modes to Stroke the Dog. This, the commenter says, is the easiest way to bypass Sony's quality control while still making "further shovelware".
It remains to be seen whether or not Game Achievements Ltd stops making trophy spam games or makes more than a token effort to introduce real gameplay into its titles. However, the studio does say that it only takes around 6 to 8 hours to make a "quick and simple game" like the Stroke The titles. With a turnaround time like that, is it any wonder that the PlayStation Store has been flooded with low-effort shovelware?