Rocket League: A massive success
Keep it simple, stupid. The developers at Psyonix must have kept the phrase posted throughout their offices when they created the smash hit, Rocket League. The game has hit the hallmark of 5 million downloads with an average playing audience of 125K players online at any time. How can a small indie game have achieved such amazing success? Well, like anything, it was smart business choices but ultimately the product was created with so much love and attention that gamers just fell for the joy the game brings.
Summer time is notorious for being a bit slow when it comes to entertainment. There is usually one summer special effects driven blockbuster movie, no basketball, no football, and no new video games. Well, when Psyonix announced the game will release on July 7th they captured an audience that was thirsty for something to hold them over until the holiday season drops too many games to count. Psyonix also decided to take up Sony’s offer and allow their title to become the free PlayStation Plus game of the Month. Sony offers developers monetary incentives to be the free game, with Rocket League being an independently developed game it was a safe choice to make and take some guaranteed money along with making your game available to players who didn’t plan on paying for the game. It was a win-win for the indie dev, they get paid and increase their exposure. Little did they know the game would explode to massive popularity.
So many people jumped onto the game, in fact, that the servers crashed on launch day. Displaying an excellent level of customer service Psyonix quickly released a statement about the problem and tirelessly worked to fix it, which they did very quickly considering the complexity of server issues. Psyonix has maintained a very intimate relationship with their fans and customers. They answer tweets regularly, often post on the r/rocketleague section of reddit and even gave out free downloadable content, with future plans for more free add-ons. Psyonix has made all the correct business choices but more importantly they made a product that displays their passion for gaming.
Take soccer and replace the players with rocket powered R/C cars and what do you get? Pure unfiltered fun. Rocket League has a variety of game types but they revolve around a core idea. Theirs season mode (play against AI), exhibition (play against AI and/or Human players) , or online competition. Games can be 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4. You can play split-screen with 4 people on one TV, join up online, or a combination of the two the ability to play with friends so seamlessly just adds to the competition, cooperation, and fun.
Rocket League is beautiful. Everything from the cars, to the stadiums, to the blades of grass under your tires. The level of detail put into the stadiums gives each their own distinctive look and feel. The classic stadium has seating around the field with seating and little avatars for fans. The particle effects are stunning, when you demolish an enemy player there is a satisfying explosion complete with the word “BOOM”. The cars look great. With the ability to choose from 13 different cars, and a bevy of customization options like paint decals and flags, everyone drives around with their own car. The paint jobs and different texture types actually pop and are visibly distinguishable. It’s nice to see so many colors splash on the screen.
The soundtrack appropriately builds up the mood. Some slightly louder background music in game could help, specifically on the night map. The crowd’s chants and cheering really gives the game the feeling of a soccer match. As for the cars, they have a satisfying engine rev, and each type of booster has an accompanying sound. The game also features sound effects that signify specific actions, like saving the ball from going in, or performing an aerial hit on the ball. NOTE: On the PlayStation 4, if you don’t like the game’s soundtrack you can always connect to Spotify and have your own playlist running, personally I like to throw on the Mad Max Fury Road soundtrack.
Rocket League is the definition of easy to pick up but difficult to master. The objective is simple, don’t let the other team score and try to put the ball in their goal. You can accelerate, go in reverse, jump and boost. These simple controls can allow anyone to jump into the game and play at the most basic level and most of the time the basics are enough. More advanced maneuvers like flips, rolls and using your boost in mid-air to score aerial hits are slowly learned as you play. It’s simple, you get better the more you play. Car customization is simple. The only difference between cars is their visual appearance and size, things like speed and jump height are even across the board so players can choose the car they like, not the car that’s best.
To put it simply the game is amazing fun, just plain unadulterated fun. You can put it on for kids and they’ll have a blast. You can play it with your friends and find yourself laughing, yelling and celebrating. It’s rare for a game to appeal to your competitive side so much but still allow you to laugh. It’s exciting action, it’s fun team play, and if you want to take it to the competitive level you can. Basically the game can be approached however you want to approach it, and you’ll always find players that hover around the same skill level and attitude as you. Rocket League returns to the original motive of games: fun.
If you like fun games pick up Rocket League. It’s easy to pick up and has enough depth to keep you playing and getting better. Psyonix is going to continue supporting the game and their fans with free downloadables like stadiums along with other purchasable downloads like new cars and decals. Have fun out there and I’ll see you on the pitch.
Michael Gomez covers Gaming for MFST, you can follow him on Twitter @MichaelGom3https://www.myfantasysportstalk.com/rocket-league-massive-success/https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ss_rocket-league_01-1432157811852_1280w.jpg?fit=1024%2C576&ssl=1https://i2.wp.com/www.myfantasysportstalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ss_rocket-league_01-1432157811852_1280w.jpg?resize=150%2C150&ssl=1AnalysisGamingRecent PostsMLG,playstation 4,ps4,rocket league,SteamKeep it simple, stupid. The developers at Psyonix must have kept the phrase posted throughout their offices when they created the smash hit, Rocket League. The game has hit the hallmark of 5 million downloads with an average playing audience of 125K players online at any time. How can...Michael GomezMichael Gomezmichaelgom3@gmail.comEditorMichael Gomez grew up on a healthy diet of sports and video games and has continued to enjoy both throughout his life. A student of California State University Channel Islands, Michael is majoring in English with a Creative Writing Emphasis. Naturally the combined interests in writing and sports lead to his involvement in sports media. When he's not meticulously following the NBA season, he's working on his fiction story, playing video games or enjoying a bite to eat. Follow him on twitter @MichaelGom3MyFantasySportsTalk