There is no doubt that Rocket League was once the talk of the town, and while its trending success may have faded some over the years to newcomers like Fortnite and Apex Legends, let’s look how it’s doing in 2020.
5 Years Later.
In 2015 when Rocket League first launched it was like nothing else on the market, a groundbreaking combination of highspeed vehicular combat and football, it earned the affection of millions of players worldwide.
Five years later our love affair with Rocket League shows no sign of letting up, and with full crossplay having launched in 2019, it’s unlikely to lose that place in the heart of million until an eventual sequel dethrones it.
Why is it So Good?
The formula for Rocket League’s success can be broken down into two core areas.
It’s just plain fun.
There are serious games on the market that require memorising half a keyboard full of controls and dozens of combos.
Then there is Rocket League, which has one of the easiest control schemes in existence to learn, a few keybinds/controller buttons and you are set, the learning curve with rocket league unlike many eSport titles is entirely focused around timing and skill, and not the ability to memorise several dozen pages of combos, yes I am looking at you Tekken 7.
Rocket League allows anyone to jump in and have fun, even when you lose a match, the gorgeous aesthetic and fun mechanics make each match enjoyable.
Watching yourself improve match after match is a great confidence booster for children/non-gamers and Rocket League is a great gateway game to encourage non-gamers to step into our world.
A regular stream of limited-time modes and crossover events ensure the gameplay experience feel fresh, my personal favourite LTM is Heatseeker.
In this mode, even the slightest touch of the ball sends it rocketing towards your opponent’s goal.
However, time your shots carefully as every missed shot locks the ball on to your own goal!
In 2017 Psyonix announced Rocket League had sold over 10.5 million copies and while I am sure that was the lions share of sales, its continued success and high concurrent users signal its most likely sold a large amount since, yet without official numbers, we can only speculate on this point.
This income coupled with a thriving cosmetic scene has ensured that Rocket League is a cash cow that Psyonix does now wish to fade away, and despite what Reddit users would tell you, that is fantastic for gamers.
Continued cash flow, ensures the continued development of any game, publishers are businesses, and once game stops bringing in the green, its put out to pasture.
As long as microinstructions are non-predatory and offer no competitive edge, the more, the better.
Just because something exists doesn’t mean you have to buy it, and if someone else wants to spend their hard-earned money on a hat for their car, LET THEM, it’s good for the game. In the long run, its good for you, as the publisher has a vested interest in keeping its high earning properties updated and active.
If Rocket League had sold only a few copies in 2015, do you think Psyonix would have put so much time and money into full crossplay in 2019? almost four years after release? Of course not.
Always someone to play with.
Success brings success. It’s a fact that has followed humanity since the dawn of creation, Rocket League’s high concurrent player base ensures a continuous stream of new players, which in turn keeps the player base numbers looking appealing, which leads to further new players and the cycle continues,
Yes undoubtedly millions may have stopped playing over the years, but their leaving is neither felt or missed due to the constant influx of new players, in March 2020 the CCU on Steam hit an all-time high of 119,124, 4x its 2015 launch day total.
Very few games ever live long enough to match their launch CCU, let alone beat it 4x.
This fact is all the more amazing when you consider Rocket League is far more popular on consoles than PC, with the PC userbase long believed to be the second smallest, next to Switch that is itself is amazing.
March 2020 also had a record showing for consoles, with a combined PC/Console crossplay CCU of 550k players on March 25th.
While steam fanboys have cried an ocean of tears over Epic acquiring Rocket League, it’s a very hopeful sign of things to come.
Only fools could deny how popular Fortnite Battle Royale has become.
Epic knows how to handle a massive property, and while Psyonix has done an exceptional job so far, coupled with the vast resources of Epic, I am excited to see what comes next for Rocket League.
Worth a Play?
If you want a great Esport title that supports both online and local multiplayer you cannot go wrong with Rocket League, a great and non-violent game suitable for all ages.
Xbox Game Pass.
Rocket League, is part of Xbox Game Pass, an ever-growing catalogue of over 100 games that is a great way to try a whole smorgasbord of games, including day one access to all Microsoft first party titles, for just a few dollars a month.