The big day has finally come and gone after PC users noted massive frustrations with Psyonix‘s tactic that some have called a ‘bait and switch‘ to force more users that want to play the legendary Rocket League to create an account on Epic Games.
We’re waiting for the day that Epic Games announces a massive uptick in Epic accounts created, without mentioning Rocket League forcing those users to join in order to continue playing a game.
Yet the massive pile of salt that has been generated on behalf of PC users has been, by and large, skipped entirely by console players that aren’t being hamstrung into a new storefront (thanks to walled-gardens) as Rocket League has released a free to play iteration on PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One.
And the Epic Games platform.
The arrival of Rocket League going free to play on the Nintendo Switch was leaked early and has proven to be true, letting users zoom around the arenas bumping each other and the ball with reckless abandon on handheld consoles.
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) September 23, 2020
Interestingly, Steam Charts notes that Rocket League has experienced more interest on Steam than ever before, reaching a new all-time high peak of 121,954 last night as Epic’s servers buckle under the weight of hundreds of thousands of users. The previous high was 119,124 in March 2020, and prior to that was April 2016 with 102,684 players.
The server problems that begin when Rocket League shifted into Epic has continued, at least for PC users, and there seems to be no end currently in sight as Epic attempts to spin up more space for players to crash into each other infinitely. In spite of this, Rocket League has continued to climb in popularity for the meantime across the board as an unprecedented number of players dive into the title.
Rocket League is bringing a wealth of Fortnite-themed cosmetics and tourneys to celebrate their new owners, and Epic is likely eager to reinvigorate their allegedly flagging numbers within the classic battle-royale title that brought a multitude of streamers into cultural prominence.
The question that remains is whether Psyonix and Epic can maintain this grip on the huge player spike long enough to make the acquisition worth it, beyond the tying of accounts to the EGS; widely-theorized reasoning of Epic to purchase the title to bring users into their relatively controversial storefront.
The great news if you’ve managed to hold onto Rocket League is that there is no shortage of players to go up against, and the reverberations of this play from Epic is likely to give the title a massive tailwind regarding server population.