Psyonix has announced that Rocket League, as part of its plan to transition the game to a free-to-play model, will no longer be using Sony’s PS Plus or Nintendo’s Switch Online systems for online play.
In a recent blog post, Psyonix laid out their updated plans for the transition, promising new competitive ranks, new season pass schemes, and the process for getting in on the ranked play. The friends’ list of Rocket IDs will be changing to Epic Friends, and players will be able to find their friends through Epic Games Store, which will become the exclusive storefront for PC players.
A partnership with EDM label Monstercat will have a number of the game’s songs being remixed, and players will be able to pre-save the tracks on services like Spotify. Some default controls are being changed around for new players. Changes to bot difficulty in Rookie mode and updated hitboxes are being added. The shift in online play, however, is not explained in any detail. It’s a single bullet point on a list of other changes.
Given the recent spat between Apple and Epic, it’s not unreasonable to think that this is another middle finger from Epic to another corporate giant, or pair of corporate giants. However, free-to-play games seem to be a specific exception on both platforms. As long as it is free-to-play, using the console’s subscription service is not required. That being the case, it would appear Rocket League will soon be joining the ranks of games such as Smite, Apex Legends, and Fortnite (at least on console).
Psyonix has not given a hard and fast date for the free-to-play release but has indicated it will be coming sometime in mid-September. For future Rocket League players, as well as long time fans of the game, the game looks to be going on without a hitch.