When Rocket League was acquired by Epic Games, we kind of knew the writing was on the wall: at some point the game would become exclusive to the Epic Games Store, and kicked out of Steam. This happened at the end of the Summer 2020 as Rocket League went Free-to-Play on the Epic Games Store, and was delisted from Steam. Still, it remained possible to use the Steam version if you had purchased it before then. I expected that Rocket League’s Steam community to progressively fade away as users would transition to the Free version for convenience reasons, but I was not prepared for this:
As you can see from the above chart, the Rocket League community on Steam has never been as active as now, even though the game is officially delisted. The game is alive and well and continues to be receive frequent updates on Steam - and the increase of the player base through EGS has potentially made the game more enticing than ever to play online, regardless of the platform.
Wile you cannot purchase Rocket League directly on Steam anymore, it can still be obtained through third party resellers. Such third party key are selling at crazy prices, sometimes above 100 USD.
But why play on Steam at all, really, if the game is free on the EGS?
- Well, of course, convenience if 99% of your games are on Steam, you probably don’t want to manage two libraries of games if you can avoid it.
- Steam Workshop only works… on Steam. So there’s no direct support of all the community assets that live on Steam if you play with the EGS version of Rocket League. (It’s apparently possible to export them to the EGS version but that’s a manual process)
- Steam Friends. If you have been playing for a long time on Steam, most of your buddies are still there and moving all friends from one network to another is always a headache - also Friends management is certainly a lot more robust and featureful on Steam than on the Epic Games Store for now.
- Trading: apparently if you use the Free-to-Play version on EGS you need to purchase 500 credits (~5 USD) in order to enable the trading functionality between players, while it is baked in on Steam by default.
While there is still a very healthy activity on Steam, there’s absolutely no doubt that the growth (i.e. new players) is now coming from the EGS month after month. And you should totally expect that Rocket League 2 or whatever it will be called will be completely exclusive to the EGS in the future. Because you know, Epic likes to complain about walled gardens while actively building one on their own. How convenient.
Also, this is a reminder that Rocket League still works fine on Steam even after the termination of the native port and the big Epic client update…
Now may be just as good a time to play it again if you purchased it before.