How Rocket League Found a Niche and Dominated

How Rocket League Found a Niche and Dominated

I took a little break from playing Rocket League, well gaming actually, for about 3 or 4 weeks. It was not intentional of course; after all, I am a devoted gamer and have been playing since I am willing to admit. I took the hiatus because of my time at my full-time job, spending time with kids, and a new-found hobby in playing guitar. On top of that, I read almost daily so time has been tight for me.

But I went back to one of my favorite games of last year, Rocket League, because I was inspired by its latest Collector’s Edition launch, a truly deserved culmination of all Psyonix’s hard work on their project. The game launched last year as a PS Plus title, but has released on the Xbox One platform last February as well.

What is fascinating to me as a gamer is how, despite all the different kinds of games releasing every single week of the year, there are still developers that are capable of grinding out something so unique, so flavorful and crafty. In the midst of all the games that are alike, have similar game concepts and feel, Psyonix crafted a different kind of niche and actually nailed it.

The soccer and racecar genre

This has actually been a thing for as long as gaming has been around, but nobody truly made a killer standout game like Psy has. Rocket League excels because it mastered the feel of how the cars should drive, how the ball should fly after being hit, and all the extra animation work like the ball bursting when it is scored or the fluid-like rocket trails of the racecars in-game.

Free content

I have so much respect for the team because of their willingness to give out free content to its huge player base. Because they are indie, Psyonix does not have any big publisher holding them back to keep profits for themselves. I love all the updates and free modes, like Hoops, given to us. That is such a respectable action and has encouraged me to buy all of their DLC as a little “thank you” since I did not pay the retail price (it was on PS Plus) and they did an amazing job after launch.

Hoops is a seriously big addition to the base game
Hoops is a seriously big addition to the base game

Accessibility

The first sign of accessibility was Psyonix’s decision to release it free on Playstation Plus. That was a welcome gesture as Kelly an I would both agree it is easily the best PS+ game to ever release for the PS4. Giving it away to a huge user base, considering how a large majority of PS4’s users are subscribed to Plus, is beneficial for not only us, but the dev team too. They get free exposure and a ton of users engaged in their game.

Another dominant move was this. The dev team has been hyperactive lately, doing everything that pleases its fan base. Their latest move was announcing that Xbox One users will be able to play with PC users. Not only is cross-network play convenient for everyone to get connected and play together, it is a never-before-done achievement in the gaming world.

We have nothing but praise here at Jump Button for the game. To date, it has only been a year since release and they are doing extraordinary things with their franchise. Here is hoping to much more content, in-game hats, new modes, and more legendary announcements from the quickly-growing company.

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