‘What a save!’ Rocket League will soon be free to play
Rocket League, first released in July of 2015, offers players a game of soccer via rocket-propelled hot rods for the price of $19.99. The game is the second iteration of an earlier title from Psyonix, Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, built using the same physics-based concept. Since the game first released, five billion matches have been played with 75 million players worldwide, according to statistics published by Rocket League.
Despite being five years old, the game saw a record number of active users playing on PC in March of this year. Rocket League also boasts a competitive circuit that has run since 2016.
The update coming later this summer to Rocket League will also allow for cross-platform progression, meaning players will be able to carry their competitive rank, item inventory and Rocket Pass to any version of the game by linking their Epic Games account. This means regardless of whether you’re playing on a Nintendo Switch or your computer, you’re leveling-up on the same version of the game.
Existing Rocket League players will receive a few accolades for joining before the game becomes free-to-play, including a “Legacy” status, access to all of the game’s past downloadable content and a list of cosmetic items for their cars — like a “Golden Cosmos” boost and a new set of wheels. Every player will have a “Est. 20XX” title to denote the year when they first started playing the game.
In the announcement, Psyonix also noted “major changes” are coming to the game’s tournament and challenge systems but more details will be provided “in the coming weeks.”
For the first time, Rocket League will be available to play on Epic Games Store, the publisher’s platform for people to play its titles and other third-party PC games. After the price-change, new players won’t be able to download Rocket League on Steam, the rival marketplace produced by Valve. Anyone with an existing Rocket League download on Steam will still be able to play the game and download the latest updates, according to Psyonix’s announcement.
Plans to move Rocket League to Epic’s marketplace have been in the making ever since Epic Games acquired the developer back in May of 2019. Epic has faced criticism from players in the past for its attempts to release PC titles exclusively to their storefront but gamers still ended up spending $680 million last year on the platform.
This isn’t the first major change to Rocket League under Epic’s leadership (or the second). Earlier this month, Rocket League announced it’s changing the Rocket League Championship Series into a year-long tournament circuit called RLCS X. The matches in various regions will culminate in a world championship with a one million dollar prize pool.
Then, last year, Rocket League announced it was doing away with its popular loot box system and replacing the randomized in-game purchases with “blueprints” for players to pay for and unlock the exact cosmetic item they desire. At the time, critics said loot boxes amounted to gambling and Rocket League’s solution modeled what Epic had already done to replace the randomized purchases in Fortnite’s original co-op survival mode.