Popular vehicle football game Rocket League is removing its player-to-player trading feature in December 2023 to align with policies at publisher Epic Games regarding in-game cosmetics. Developer Psyonix announced via the official website that direct trading between players will end on December 5th to bring Rocket League in line with Epic’s approach prohibiting selling, trading or transferring cosmetic items.
First released in 2015, Rocket League quickly became a hit for its merging of racing and football elements. It was crucial in establishing Psyonix as an indie developer. After acquisition by Epic Games in 2019, Rocket League went free-to-play in 2020 to further expand its audience. Many fans of the series have spelled that this is the end of the franchise and that this decision has effectively killed the game!
The trading feature being removed in December was first introduced to Rocket League in 2016. It enabled users to directly exchange certain earned cosmetic items as well as revealed blueprints with each other and third-party trading websites. This peer-to-peer exchange will be fully discontinued according to Psyonix.
Acquired Items from Trading Will Not Be Lost
However, Rocket League’s existing system for swapping unwanted items in to receive a random higher rarity item will remain intact. Items acquired through player trading before December 5th will also not be lost. But Psyonix warned players that third-party sites will be considered illicit after the feature’s removal.
This news parallels the decision EA made when they stopped player trading on FIFA 15 way back in 2014 which didn’t go down well within the community. The fact that they’re both football titles of sorts also makes the comparison even more alike.
Psyonix suggested the change could enable future cross-game cosmetic availability between Rocket League and other Epic titles like Fortnite. But no specifics were revealed yet. The company continues exploring ways to improve existing systems like item trade-ins as well.
The removal of direct player trading has the potential to be controversial among the dedicated community. But Psyonix stresses their focus is on expanding the game’s future possibilities under Epic’s guidance.
Interestingly, the change follows recent layoffs at Epic Games aimed at stabilising costs and spending. While no clear connection was drawn, aligning the title’s monetisation could help streamline profits across Epic’s portfolio.
In December, Rocket League Season 13 will kick off shortly after the trading update. Psyonix faces a challenge sustaining player investment, and cosmetic rewards may need reevaluation. But cross-game content could present new incentives if executed thoughtfully.
For now, Psyonix aims to transition trading functionality smoothly while reassuring fans of the game’s ongoing support. Maintaining goodwill and engagement as economic forces shift will determine if the vehicular soccer phenom keeps boosting in popularity or begins to run out of gas.
Rocket League is available to download now for free on Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.
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