Despite previous reports from various outlets, it appears that some facts were skewed in this story and the initial wave of reporting. Psyonix has now provided a statement to US Gamer, clarifying a key detail. The important bit is this: “Rocket League remains available for new purchasers on Steam, and long-term plans will be announced in the future.“
And while this doesn’t explicitly confirm or deny that Rocket League will be removed from Steam, in fact it suggests that the possibility is still there in the future, the tone implies that the game will continue to be supported on the Valve platform.
Epic Games has been making a ton of progress on their way to becoming and extremely far-reaching and dominant force in the games industry. With runaway success of titles like Fortnite, Epic has been banking very hard on the success of their newest effort, their own distribution platform.
The primary strategy for growing this platform and ensuring it’s success is by gaining tons of timed and even permanent exclusives of major games. One particularly controversial example is the one year exclusivity deal signed with Epic by 4A Games’ publisher on the newly released Metro Exodus. Gamers really hated this idea, going so far as to review bomb the franchise on Steam. Gearbox also negotiated a deal with Epic to sell Borderlands 3 on their store, and a similar thing happened.
The acquisition of a new studio appears to be the next step in that process. The developer behind sport racing game, Rocket League, Psyonix, has now been bought out by Epic. The deal took place for an undisclosed sum, and is planned to be completed by June of this year. Epic will simply absorb the Rocket League team into their operations, allowing them to continue to work on the game with little interruption. Epic and Psyonix also revealed that the team will not be forced to downsize post-acquisition.
This announcement does come with some bad news though, as the game will likely be pulled from sale on Steam when the deal does complete later this year. Epic will probably continue to offer support for Steam users in terms of backend tech and servers, as well as updates, but new gamers wishing to race onto the field will need to pick the game up from the Epic Games Store. This is likely to anger some gamers, judging by the fact that there has been a new wave of intent to pirate the game that has shown up in response to this change.
Rocket League is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.