Psyonix continues to prove they can do no wrong. The way they handled everything since Rocket League’s launch is something to be admired. An appropriate presence in the eSports scene, free DLC in the form of maps and game modes, consistent appearances in community platforms, and now add microtransactions to the list of good. In case you haven’t heard Rocket League will be getting premium crates like that of CS:GO. It was leaked by an unknown source on Reddit and Psyonix’s own Jeremy Dunham confirmed it was real albeit sooner than they would have liked. I know microtransactions and CS:GO leave a bad taste in gamers mouths at the moment and even I understand why premium downloadables are annoying. All I’m asking is you hear me out while I explain what Psyonix did right.
Reddit user, TheSgtPunishment, somehow came into possession of the picture below and shared it last week. He questioned if a loot crate system was coming to Rocket League and eventually got a response from Psyonix. Its vice president, Jeremy Dunham, in fact. He lamented that they were going to announce this next month at the RLC finals since it was related but they needed to clarify things. Since it was leaked and all. “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.”
Now before I get to my next point I want to let you know something. I am guilty of purchasing microtransactions. Sure it can be convenient and save some time but I’d rather most of them not be there. EA is most guilty of this regarding nearly all of their titles. They’ll have a slew of microtransactions that can make your team better, give you some type of advantage, and basically give you a better chance to win. This type of premium downloadable is unacceptable but that is another article entirely.
The first thing Rocket League gets right is its “don’t sell advantage policy.” All crates or packs will be cosmetic only. Thus there will be no competitive advantage for anyone. No easier wins, no speed boosts, no extra power hits, nothing that increases…except your fashion sense. Now I know Rocket League has never featured an advantage of any kind other than what playstyle works best with physics. The point remains the same though. There is no extra edge. “Crates will contain cosmetic content only. We have a strict “Don’t Sell Advantage” policy for Rocket League, and we’re sticking with that.”
The next thing they did right (and my personal favorite) is the inclusion of avoiding it all together. With a simple check of a box, you’ll be able to ignore and avoid this new crate system entirely. You won’t even know it’s there. At this point alone Overwatch’s loot box microtransactions has been bested. Up until now Blizzard’s team based shooter has had one of the better loot crate systems. All of their loot boxes were cosmetic only and offered no inherent advantage. However, there is still that square button at the bottom of the screen that says “hey push me to get stuff for money.”
Another aspect that they nailed is their acknowledgement of the leak. Other companies would and have just lied about it. Some even completely remade stuff to prove the rumor false regardless of how nice the original content was. This is what was suspected to have happened with Bioware and Bungie’s Mass Effect 3 and Destiny respectively. Even better is their reassurance that their ideals will not change regarding what they’ve always done. “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.”
The last pertinent thing Psyonix did well was regarding the proceeds of these microtransactions. Any money used to buy these crates will be put to towards future eSports prize pools and events. Most any other company would gratefully keep the money themselves. I don’t need to bring up EA again do I? Once again the Rocket League creators show how much they care about the community. These profits can theoretically be won back by the same people who attributed to it. “We plan on implementing to fund our esports prize pools and events”
Mr. Dunham also stated that this new system will not be implemented on Steam Marketplace due to the recent gambling scandal. Now I don’t know enough about the whole situation to write about it in-depth but I do know that people were lied to regarding third-party gambling. I completely understand Psyonix’s willingness to not get involved 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.”
Not only are these microtransactions going towards the community but can be entirely hidden, only give out cosmetic items, and won’t be exploitative in nature. If you were ever forced to have microtransactions in a game then this is how I would want to have it. Dare I say it but it even makes microtransactions seem delectable. Now if only EA would stop selling their collective souls in the form of premium downloadable content.