Psyonix announced in a blog today that its car football game Rocket League will be leaving loot boxes behind in a move aimed at “creating the best possible experience for our players all over the world.”
The change will happen sometime before the end of the year with a new system coming in to replace the game’s existing randomised lottery. Instead of earning loot boxes by playing and then having the option of purchasing keys to open them up and see what’s inside, Pysonix says the new system will show players exactly what they’re buying upfront. The studio compared the new system to changes that happened in Fortnite: Save the World earlier this year.
Back in January, Epic Games announced Save The World’s V-Buck Llamas would be changed to X-Ray Llamas which let players see what’s inside. If they don’t like what they see, they can wait until the next day when the virtual shop updates and check again. In addition, Epic made some other changes, like making sure the Llamas no longer give out duplicate items. Now that Psyonix is owned by Epic Games, which purchased the studio in May, it’s not surprising that Rocket League will follow a similar trend.
Psyonix declined to comment further when Kotaku reached out.
Loot boxes have never been a part of Fortnite Battle Royale, which instead uses a battle pass system where players pay a one-time seasonal fee and then grind for their rewards. Many other online games have subsequently adopted battle passes, including Rocket League, which got its first seasonal battle pass last October.
Rocket League didn’t always have loot boxes, either. Those were added back in September 2016 when other games, like the then recently released Overwatch, were having a lot of success with them. At the time, Psyonix pitched them as a way to help fund its burgeoning competitive esports league, which debuted in early 2016 and will enter its eighth season this fall. It also allowed players to trade items with one another, which on one hand helped give players more control over the process but also left it open to black market forces and made the entire thing feel even more like gambling.
It’s too early to say if the new system will ultimately be an improvement, but there are plenty of better ways to dole out rewards in games than loot boxes. It’s good to see Rocket League will soon be moving away from that system.