High-octane ballsport Rocket League yesterday reduced cosmetic item prices, having started selling them at high prices with new systems replacing DLC and loot boxes in last week’s Blueprint Update. Our Matt said only yesterday that “Rocket League’s new Blueprints are too expensive, but still better than loot boxes” then a mere six hours later, Psyonix announced the price cuts. This is response to a solid week of complaints from players but the timing does make us look dead influential so yeah, yeah, you’re welcome, everyone.
Rocket League used to drop locked loot boxes containing a random item, and you’d need to buy a key to open the box and find out what it had. That’s so 2015, so Psyonix changed it. Now Rocket League can give players a random Blueprint, which gives them the opportunity to buy a specific item for a set price. No hoping a loot box gives you something good – you can see what you’d get then decide if you wanted to buy it. They added an item shop too, directly selling specific items for microtransaction cash. Psyonix also stopped selling DLC packs of cars and cosmetics, saying items from them might be sold separately in the item store later.
With randomness removed, prices for specific items are way higher than the cost of a key and compare poorly to DLCs. Many players found this offputting. The prices seemed particularly absurd with the rarest items – like £15 for some wheels.
“Since the Blueprint Update release last week, we have pored over all of your comments on Discord, Reddit, Twitter, and beyond,” Pysonix said in last night’s announcement. “We have heard your feedback that Item Shop and Blueprint pricing did not meet community expectations.” So they’re cutting prices.
Players who bought things in-game between December 4th, when the Blueprints came in, and yesterday should now have received a refund of Credits equal to the difference between what they paid and the new price.
Even with these cuts, the items are not cheap. Prices are still far higher than when Psyonix sold bits bundled into DLC packs. But the ludicrous prices are now somewhat less daft, and at least they’re not loot boxes. I agree with Matt’s assessment from shortly before Psyonix announced these price cuts:
“I don’t like pitting the monetary value of both systems against each other, because it distracts from the way they’re both really bad deals. This new system replaces the ambiguous allure of a poor value loot box with the certainty of a poor value Blueprint. The main difference is that the current value proposition doesn’t trick people’s brains into thinking they’re getting a better deal than they are, which is elevated to the utmost importance when some people’s brains get tricked really badly.
“This is a rip-off, but it’s not an unethical rip-off.”
It’s real shame Psyonix replaced loot boxes with a system grubby in a different way. Removing DLC packs is a double whammy. The game does still have a ‘Rocket Pass’ sort of battle pass doodad that’s good value if you play a load, mind, but these peripheral systems Psyonix clearly want people to pay extra for offer poor value.