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.”
This is a surprising move, and one that comes during a controversial time for loot boxes in the gaming industry. A senior executive at Electronic Arts recently told the United Kingdom’s Parliament that loot boxes were “surprise mechanics” and “quite ethical and fun.” Other studios have come under fire for implementation of loot boxes and gambling mechanics, making the Rocket League move a potentially important one in this dialogue.
Epic acquired Psyonix at the beginning of May; the purchase came after a long relationship with both studios working together on both the Unreal Engine game development tool set and development on games like Unreal Tournament 2004 and Mass Effect 3.
It remains to be seen if other developers will follow in Epic’s footsteps, or whether this will be a change made across all Epic titles in future.