Rocket League is Going to Be F2P in China -- Here's to Hoping There Won't Be an IP Block
This month, Psyonix announced that Rocket League would no longer be for sale through Steam. While it is not gone forever, the vehicular soccer video game will return as a free-to-play game exclusively for PC. This change is the result of a deal between Psyonix and Tencent, the Chinese company that owns Riot (the developer of League of Legends).
Rocket League fans around the world are now wondering if the game will no longer be available once its servers are on the other side of the firewall.
Chinese users have been unable to access online play -- so far
Currently, there are an estimated 30 million Rocket League players worldwide. However, very few users in China have been able to access the game's online play due to the country's ban on Google servers. A small number of players in China have been able to access online play using a VPN or proxy, but the connections are slow due to their ping count.
Now that Tencent has exclusive rights to the game, players outside of China are concerned that the tables will be turned on them, and that no one outside of China will be able to access online play for Rocket League.
What does this mean for users outside of China?
So far, Psyonix has made promises to existing and future players in China:
...to our friends who are already playing Rocket League in China... Though new players will no longer be able to purchase the existing version of the game on Steam from this point forward, the existing community will still have access to the game you paid for, in addition to all other currently-available features.
However, there are no guarantees for players in any other country. Existing Rocket League players outside of China would be much more reassured if they were promised the same deal as Chinese players. Unfortunately, it remains to be seen whether or not Tencent will make accommodations for international Rocket League players.
Hopefully, Psyonix will be looking to expand its user base rather than reduce it. We probably won't know anything until we get closer to the game's re-release date.
Do you think this is a good move on Steam's part? Let us know in the comments below!