Psyonix removing loot boxes from Rocket League
A change is coming to the Rocket League store later this year, one foreshadowed by fellow Epic Games Store title Fortnite. Epic Games recently removed loot boxes from its Save the World mode. Now that change is coming to Rocket League—which Epic now owns—as well. All paid, randomized loot boxes, known as Crates, will be removed from the Rocket League storefront.
A new system will be added that “shows the exact items you’re buying in advance.” It’s not clear whether the storefront will primarily move over to individual items or bundles, but more information including timelines and rollout specifics will be released in the coming months. As for the store’s existing offers, the official blog post says that “Rocket Pass Premium, DLC Cars, and Esports Shop items will continue to be offered for direct purchase alongside our new system. In addition, Cheap Rocket League Prices is on hot sale at our website 5mmo.com.
The Blueprint system isn’t without its problems, however. When it was first introduced, players were very upset over the new item pricing. While Blueprints brought transparency that Crates didn’t, their introduction also jacked up the rates in the item store. Many felt that they were paying for the removal of loot boxes by having individual items cost double what they did before. Psyonix listened and quickly lowered the prices, hopefully ending the turmoil.
As for Epic, leaving loot boxes behind isn’t likely to hurt its bottom line any time soon. “Epic, however, could afford to get rid of loot boxes since it has found a viable alternative in the form of the battle pass,” Rogers said. “This monetization method has proven far less controversial, and battle passes were even introduced to Rocket League last year.”
We’re not likely to see the end of the loot box in games altogether, but as the industry moves toward more transparency, we may see more alternate “consumer-friendly” methods of monetization. Strategies like Epic’s battle passes have performed well and it makes sense that other publishers may seek to implement similar strategies in an effort to avoid the increasingly-controversial loot box discussion.