In a sign of their growing ambition Epic Games have completed the purchase of Psyonix – creators of the widely successful socCar title “Rocket League” for an undisclosed fee. Seen as another move in their attempt to compete with industry giants – Valve, which alongside a large portfolio 1st party games such as Counter-Strike and DOTA 2, also own and operate the premier online games platform in the world – Steam.
The game is expected to be taken off the Steam platform by the end of the year, but worry not – those that have already purchased it will still be able to play the game without hindrance.
The acquisition has taken the games industry by surprise more because of the speed of the deal rather than its inherent nature. Recently, Epic has been giving a number of publishers favourable deals to release their games exclusively on their platform the first of which was 4A Game’s Metro Exodus followed by Saber Interactive’s World War Z. Increasing the amount of 1st party titles on the platform was the next logical step.
The deal makes a lot of sense on the surface. The two companies flagship games having striking similarities. Both invented entirely new game modes and mechanics’ – Rocket League with its car football hybrid and Fortnite with its shooter/building mechanic that has captivated gamers and made into the commercial juggernaut it is today. Both companies also found massive and sudden success with a free2play model and both have a rabid fanbase with an appetite for competitive play and perhaps more importantly, cosmetic purchases.
Psyonix recently introduced an esport team shop – a way for esport organizations to get their in-game branded items in the hands of fans.
This, coupled with Epic’s ambitious plans for their games platform, and their revolutionary support-a-creator function makes the Epic-Psyonix partnership a match made in heaven.
After Epic’s Purchase of Psyonix -What Next For Rocket League esports?
Fans of the socCar game have reason to be worried.
Rocket League is a perfectly balanced and finely tuned esport – a far cry from the chaos that follows competitive Fortnite.
But the fears may well be unfounded. Psyonix has already come out to say they will still stay on as the primary developers, and they believe that the partnership with Epic can only help that increase the reach of Rocket League and the esport around it.
“We think this is a great move for the Rocket League Esports ecosystem because it significantly increases our potential reach and resources, just like it does for the game itself. We really do believe that you’ll find our future in esports to be very exciting — especially in the near future, where on June 21-23 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) finals will end our 7th season with a bang!”
In the short-term expect cross-over cosmetic content Fortnite themed skins in Rocket League is a given but could we also see Rocket car’s in Fortnite? It wouldn’t be any weirder than ballers.