Rocket League is joining the ever-growing list of games that use microtransactions, as Psyonix vice president Jeremy Dunham explained on Reddit after an image leaked over the weekend.
The system works much like a loot crate system, seen in games like Counter-strike: GO and Overwatch. Rocket League players will be able to obtain the crates using real money, but they will not contain any items that give users an edge over others. Dunham explained that the system was created to help fund their upcoming esports events.
Those assets are, indeed, early pieces of an upcoming system we plan on implementing to fund our (Rocket League’s) esports prize pools and events. We plan on officially announcing it next month at (or near) the RLCS Live Finals since it directly relates to that event and other events like it, but since this image came out before our official word, we wanted to clarify some things for you.
Dunham also walked Rocket League fans through several points defending how the crates would not be a pay-to-win system, a hot-button issue among gamers these days.
He continued to detail Rocket League’s approach in his post on Reddit by saying:
- Crates will contain cosmetic content only. We have a strict “Don’t Sell Advantage” policy for Rocket League, and we’re sticking with that.
- There will be no Steam Marketplace integration with crates. We are definitely aware of the problems related to third-party gambling in other games and we are not interested in taking that approach.
- Players who don’t want to interact with this system can hide it entirely with a single checkbox. Also of note, this won’t affect or impact our current item-drop system in any way.
- We also want to reassure you guys that we are sticking with our approach to keep introducing free new Arenas, Modes, and Items, along with the occasional paid DLC just like we always have.
Rocket League is by no means one of the first games to have fans concerned about its microtransactions. For years, games have been adding in ways to use real-world cash to purchase in-game items. The practice helps offset the costs of developing the games, but many games have been accused of including transactions that lead to players having an unfair advantage in the game. Games like Evolve, which charged $3 per character skin, $7.50 for for each new character, and $15 for a new monster.
They don’t even have to be multiplayer games like Rocket League, as many single player games are often criticized for having content necessary to be successful in the game stripped out and put behind a paywall. One example is Dead Space 3, which locked many of the components necessary for crafting items behind a paid microtransaction system.
Concerns over Rocket League’s system arose just over a week after outrage erupted over a scandal was revealed involving two popular Counter-Strike: GO players and an online betting scheme. The players were running a gambling website that let players wager real money on in-game skins that could cost thousands of dollars. The two YouTubers, TmarTn and ProSyndicate, were accused of sending their large amounts of followers to this website without ever revealing they helped to run it.
Rocket League is a critical and commercial success. Having spent less than $2 million to make over two years, revenue for Rocket League now exceeds $110 million.
[Image via Psyonix]