While reviewing the dismal first person shooter Shellshock 2: Blood Trails this week, it came to our attention that the horror sequel didn't feature Trophy support, something that we thought was mandatory in all games released in 2009.
Searching around the net for the definitive answer, we discovered plenty of debate about the subject, with quite a few people assuming, like we did, that Sony Computer Entertainment had ruled that all games must feature Trophy support this year.
To clear the issue up and get clarification on the matter, we contacted SCE who confirmed that Trophy support is only mandatory in titles that were submitted for certification after January 1, 2009. According to the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC,) Shellshock 2: Blood Trails was classified in June 2008, so it was at the developer's discretion whether it included Trophy support or not. It's unlikely that this particular game will sell well, so it's also very improbable that it will ever receive the feature.
It's worth checking then the official date of certification with the ESRB or BBFC before you buy or rent a game if you're simply hoping to improve your Trophy tally. You may be disappointed otherwise. Many of the games that we'll see in 2009 were submitted before January 1st, so Trophy-less titles this year are still a possibility. It's not really going to be an issue with any of the major titles, but games from smaller studios may still be affected.