Psyonix today unveiled its loot box replacement system for Rocket League, which edges ever closer to a gambling-free future. Starting sometime this December, “Blueprints” will take over as the primary method for obtaining items.
Unlike Rocket League‘s existing “crates,” which contain a mystery item and require a separate key to open, Blueprints tell you exactly what item they unlock, be it a new body, goal explosion, rocket boost, or what have you. Like crates and their keys, Blueprints will still require a premium (read: real money) currency to obtain they item they build — the main difference is that now, you know you’re spending money on something you actually want. Imagine that!
Said new real-money currency, “Credits,” will be used to change Blueprints into items, to purchase the premium Rocket Pass, and to buy cosmetics from a brand-new Item Shop, which is set to debut alongside Blueprints. Like the cosmetic item shops we’re all familiar with in Fortnite, Destiny 2 or Apex Legends, Rocket League‘s shop will offer a rotating catalogue of new items and old favorites from past events. Psyonix cautions that Item Shop items cannot be traded, and that Credits will not work in the Esports Shop, where Esports Tokens will remain in use.
Once the change takes place, any remaining crates you have in your inventory will be automatically converted into Blueprints for items from the same series, and keys will be melted down into an equivalent amount of credits. It’s worth noting that while free post-game drops will still be eligible for trade in after the conversion, items purchased from the Item Shop or acquired through Blueprints will not be eligible for trade in. Psyonix says that it is working on an updated version of Rocket League‘s inventory system, which should allow players to hide unwanted items.
To send Rocket League’s loot box system out in style, Psyonix is introducing one final crate series this Thursday, October 3, called the “Vindicator Crate.” Vindicator Crates have a chance to contain the Sentinel Battle-Car or Neuro-Agitator Goal Explosion, as can be seen above.
Of course, there’s (probably) a much greater chance that your Vindicator Crate won’t contain a Sentinel Battle-Car, which is the whole reason that Rocket League (and other games with similar systems) are moving away from loot box-style cosmetics. Governments around the world have taken notice of loot boxes, and by extension, the fact that many loot box systems encourage the same kind of dangerous financial behavior emboldened by traditional forms of gambling.
It’s these global legislative initiatives that are prompting developers like Psyonix to alter their games now, before it becomes more of a real-world legal issue. Additionally, self-regulating can be used as evidence by organizations like the Entertainment Software Association, who need examples like this when trying to convince Congress that the video game industry is capable of respecting consumers on its own. No need for concrete legal protections here, Sirs and Madams! The loot boxes are gone! The free market has solved the problem in a way that is still primarily beneficial to our interests, in lieu of whatever actual rights you might have bestowed upon the churning masses. Crisis averted!