The car-meets-soccer indie game Rocket League has surpassed 25 million players according to developer, Psyonix.
The developer had other good news for its break-out video game. Rocket League was one of Steam's top-selling 'Platinum' titles in 2016, and was the number one downloaded game on PlayStation Network last year in both North America and the EU.
1 billion games of Rocket League have been played since its launch. Psyonix breaks down those matches for us:
The game was a free PlayStation Plus title at launch back in 2015, almost guaranteeing high downloads, but continuing to pull off these kind of numbers into 2016 is impressive.
All of this points to the game's rocket-like trajectory. When I spoke with Psyonix founder and president Dave Hagewood, the game had just crossed the 15 million player mark. That was back in June of 2016. Rocket League shows no sign of slowing.
I think this all speaks to two factors. The first is simple: Rocket League is fun. It's an easy game to get into and play and then hop back out of, similar to Overwatch (a game which gave a nod to Rocket League with its Summer Olympics mode.
The second factor is somewhat less easy to grasp. Let's call it value. Not only is Rocket League priced correctly---something that can make or break a game---it also offers great value when it comes to things like DLC.
Hagewood told me back in June that the company treats the game like a free-to-play product, or rather like a "living" game. "In our case," he said, "we came out with a premium price but we keep supporting the game as if it's a live product. And that's working for us because of the DLC we do, that sort of creates the need to make DLC that's more than just 'Oh here you can put a special item on your car.' We're actually trying to add substantially new gameplay."
Along with new modes and 'substantially new gameplay' Rocket League has become an eSports darling which, Hagewood says, "adds a permanence and a longevity to the game."
And so the life of Rocket League is not confined to its release and the weeks after. It remains popular in both competitive and casual circles. The numbers certainly seem to back that up. I look forward to seeing how the game, and its community, evolve in 2017.
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