On Apr. 10, Psyonix revealed their plans to finally implement an Esports Shop into Rocket League. This has been a long-awaited request from the community since the start of RLCS.
The information Psyonix shared with us was just a surface-level glance at how their business model would operate, such as prices, currency, and which esports organizations are involved. Within their post, they also detailed that the store would work on a rotational basis, which seemed to rule out the possibility of purchasing all of your favorite org’s items in one transaction.
This incomplete description of their Esports Shop has left the Rocket League community hungering for an explanation as to why they cannot buy all of their favorite org’s items all at once, or how the rotating format will work. We took a look at Psyonix’s current monetization methods, along with the newly released information, to predict their strategy going forward.
If you hadn’t noticed, RLCS Season 7 started last week, but we’ve noticed there hasn’t been much hype for Rocket League Twitch rewards. The lack of promotion leads us to believe that Psyonix is moving to retire the in-game item rewards and instead reward their viewers with Esports Tokens, the official currency of their Esports Shop.
In past iterations of the RLCS Twitch Rewards, the wheels have been the most desirable items, followed by decals, boosts, and banners. It would seem plausible for Psyonix to move the items into the Esports Shop to be available for purchase in the rotational basis along with org items. This means Psyonix could offer a range of items and players could hand-pick what they want to receive as a reward. This would cut out the possibility of being disappointed with only receiving a topper while your friend receives a set of painted wheels or nothing at all throughout a full weekend.
To further create excitement for the Esports Shop, Psyonix could entice players with the possibility of the items on offer to be painted before or after purchase. If items had a chance to be randomly painted upon purchase – like they do when dropping – it could add excitement at the idea of receiving a highly desirable item in a more desirable color for a low cost. It would be just like opening crates. Predatory? Perhaps. But it falls in line with what they’ve done so far.
However, Psyonix has stated that items will only be available for limited periods of time before they’re cycled through. This may lead to Psyonix offering items in a specific color as a hot-sale. This would drive players to their shop to get the item while they can if it’s the color they want. Imagine the possibility of buying wheels like Titanium White Apex in a hot-sale with a currency you’ve collected for free just by watching the RLCS broadcast!
Psyonix has stated that all items purchased from the Esports Shop are not tradable, unlike the current drops from Twitch. This means items in the Esports store cannot be purchased in either method above and sold off for real-world money to other players. It’s a more favorable model for Psyonix, as the items which are not licensed by esports organizations will go straight to their own pocket. This would be a similar business strategy as giving players Decryptors in the free versions of the Rocket Pass.
We’ve also come to the conclusion that the Esports Tokens would be given out at a very low rate. If Psyonix were to fund their viewers with the chance to purchase items for free, they would still be obliged to pay an org 30 percent of its real-world cost. Giving out too much would only end in a large bill at the end of the season, so to avoid this the Tokens would add up to very few per weekend, enough for perhaps a discount on one item.
Psyonix could implement a new storefront in Rocket League that allows players to choose their free rewards. It would be a protected market for their esports brand, it would increase player engagement, and at the same time, the org items would be advertised beside them.
Whatever Psyonix plans to do is still a mystery, but we believe this is probably the best way they could capitalize on the Esports Shop and Twitch rewards – for themselves and their players. Do you think this would make the store more exciting? Would you collect tokens for free items, or simply use them for discounts? Let us know in the comments!
Ellis (Llexis) Lane is a writer and developer from Birmingham, UK. If he’s not currently playing Rocket League you’ll be able to find him talking about it on twitter.