The car-soccer hit Rocket League is getting an update later this summer that will make it free-to-play, developer Psyonix announced today, on the game’s blog. Rocket League will also launch on the Epic Games Store when that update arrives, and will no longer be available to download from Steam.
As part of the free-to-play update, Rocket League (which currently sells for $20) will finally support cross-platform progression by tying player inventories and competitive rankings to a unified Epic Games Account. And even though the game will no longer be available to new players on Steam, those who already own the game there will still be able to launch and play it from within the Steam client. Psyonix says the free-to-play update will also bring changes to how the game’s tournaments and reward challenges work, as well as give existing players some bonus cosmetics.
The news comes just after Rocket League passed its five-year anniversary earlier this month. The surprise hit originally came out on PC via Steam and on PS4 as a free game for PlayStation Plus subscribers. While the core gameplay of driving cars really fast and smashing a giant ball into a net to score points remains the same, Rocket League has undergone a number of other changes during that time, including switching from randomized loot boxes to a blueprint system in which players can pay money toward the specific cosmetics they want to customize their vehicles. While an improvement over standard loot boxes, this system is still less than ideal and made Rocket League feel like a free-to-play game long before today’s announcement that it will officially become one.
The move away from loot boxes came shortly after Psyonix was purchased by Epic Games in May of last year. The company stated its intent to move Rocket League to the Epic Games Store at that time, and going free-to-play is in keeping with the success of Epic’s massively popular Fortnite.