Having been acquired by Epic Games in May of 2019, Psyonix and its catalog of titles, including the world-renowned Rocket League, have since fallen under the same umbrella as the likes of the Free-to-Play juggernaut that is Fortnite.
Despite remaining relatively unchanged since the acquisition, a major update hit the in-game store on December 4 that completely altered the state of purchasable vanity items. To the dismay of the community, this new overhaul has majorly impacted the costs of various cosmetics and fans could not be more upset.
Previously in Rocket League, all cosmetics were unlocked through randomized loot-boxes. Meaning that for a single price, you could acquire a relatively undesirable item or you could attain one of the most rarified vanity items in the entire game.
With the latest changes however, loot-boxes have been entirely removed from the game in favor of a brand-new shop that requires a set amount of credits to purchase individual items. $1 will net you 100 Credits in the new in-game currency and as expected, the rarer the item, the greater the cost.
While this might seem like a positive overhaul, allowing players to pick and choose specific cosmetics rather than having no control over randomized loot-boxes, the individual prices of items has the community up in arms. Certain fan-favorites are gated behind remarkably steep prices that seem somewhat illogical for a game that isn’t currently free.
Popular content creator and ‘Jonsandman’ outlined how he believes the title will transition to a free-to-play model on “Jan 1st 2020” similar to Epic Games’ Fortnite, adding that it was the "only thing that would make sense" considering the changes that had already been made to the game.
Echoing the sentiment, G2 Esports content creator Athena expressed that “the only way to justify the prices for the items in-game now is if Rocket League goes free to play.”
Rocket League goes free to play Jan 1st 2020...It's the only thing that would make sense for all of this.
— Jonsandman (@JonsandmanTv) December 4, 2019
The only way to justify the prices for the items in game now is if Rocket League goes free to play
— G2 Athena (@Athena) December 4, 2019
Further voicing the frustrations of the community, Rocket League professional for G2 Esports, Dillon Rizzo, combed through the overhauled store and elaborated on just how ridiculous the new prices seem to be.
“So even though I have the Blueprint itself, it’s the same exact price as the item shop, which is just so sick,” he said sarcastically upon comparing the 1,600 credit Infinium exotic wheel Blueprint in his possession to the 1,400 Infinium exotic wheels currently in-store.
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“Even though I randomized my Blueprint, it actually doesn’t benefit me in any way. That’s the best part. You might rely on RNG for a Blueprint but...doesn’t f**king matter, just wait for it to go in the shop anyway.”
Highlighting inconsistencies across the board throughout the new microtransaction system, Rizzo exemplified numerous cases of similar cosmetics featuring inexplicably different prices.
“It’s not funny, it’s sad,” the pro player expressed. With an image of the standard variant of Draco exotic wheels, he detailed how the item is priced at $14. Transitioning over to a slightly different version however, the price drastically increased to $20 for some “white paint” and nothing more.
“Trinity boost, import. $6. How much do you pay for the white paint on an import?” he amusingly asked. Switching to the altered version, a full price of $13 was unveiled, “one dollar more than the white paint on the exotic Draco’s. How does that make sense man? They didn’t think it through either, it seems so lazily put together.”
There’s no telling how rapidly Psyonix will respond to the outcry of the community or whether the in-game store will see another major update in the very near future to qualm concerns.
Regardless, it’s clear that the current state of microtransactions in Rocket League failed to meet expectations and has been met with nothing but frustration from even the most dedicated players around the world.