Rocket League / Aurich Lawson
At some point "this summer", the popular car football video game Rocket League will be played for free on all existing platforms. To achieve this, the game's publishers at Epic Games are making a strange change to their PC version: it will be deleted from Steam.
If you have not yet purchased the existing PC version of the game for $ 19.99, you can only request the free version after launching through the Epic Games Store. Tuesday's game developer Psyonix's announcement did not provide a firm estimate of when this "summer" switch would take place, and Psyonix representatives didn't confirm a time frame when asked directly by Ars – so if you don't already own the game and feel married For Steam, consider this the last "summer" warning. Anyone who has already bought the game on Steam can still download and play the free version via this user interface – and receive updates, patches, as well as access to existing content and activations.
"Long Term Plans" are here today
Existing players on any platform (Steam, EGS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One) who pay for and sign up for Rocket League before the F2P transition at the end of today’s July 21 will receive a bundle of free legacy "Content consisting primarily of new and existing cosmetic options for the list of cars in the game. (This means that owners of the disc version of the game will need to log in as soon as possible to receive the aforementioned goodies. After the upgrade, your paid disc copy of the game does not trigger a special status.) This includes some packs of cars and Decorations that used to be sold as traditional DLC before the Rocket League delisted all discrete DLC packs in favor of a Fortnite-like store in-game with time-limited sales options.
With this update, the game will add some form of cross-platform support for stats, cosmetic purchases, unlocks, and more, all tied to an Epic Games account. Exactly how this works and how it works with the existing Steam version remains unclear. "More details on account linking will be published in the future," says Tuesday's Psyonix update.
The core gameplay does not appear to be affected by the free-to-play transition, as the most obvious changes to such a business model – a store full of cosmetic purchases and a paid, cosmetically filled "Battle Pass" progression system – have already occurred added. The news follows Epic Games' purchase of Psyonix about a year ago, which raises questions about whether the game could become an exclusive Epic Games store for the PC. At that time, developers gave a vague assurance: "Rocket League remains available to new Steam buyers, and long-term plans will be announced in the future."
The original stratospheric surge in popularity in the Rocket League was probably due to the launch of PlayStation Plus in 2015 – back when this paid subscription service launched brand new indie games starting in retail. (The game failed when it was released in 2008 as a PS3 indie entitled Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars.) PS Plus has now cooled that promise of hot new indies. Xbox's competing Game Pass service has largely picked up on this coat with its own bullish launches of first- and third-party games as part of its paid subscription.
This article has been updated to correct the game's "legacy" requirements.