Rocket League developer Psyonix held an Ask Me Anything on Reddit on Friday. Many fans participated in the AMA and Psyonix answered a decent amount of them, including one about the move to Unreal Engine 5. This news leaked several weeks prior.
The answers ranged from mildly interesting to insightful. And while the developers were unable to share details on some of the most interesting questions about upcoming features, they were willing to share what they could. Here are the most notable questions and answers, but fans looking for all of them can take a look at the official thread.
Unreal Engine 5
Rocket League is moving to Unreal Engine 5, that much we know. But aside from admitting that it’s happening, Psyonix has been tight-lipped about it. Reddit user /u/deweller asked Psyonix in the AMA about any updates, when development started, whether there’s a timeline yet and if the new version will just be an update or completely new application.
Psyonix Co-Studio Head Corey Davis said the following:
“We’ve been exploring a transition to a newer version of Unreal for quite some time, but the team was quite small until this year. We’re not ready to share timelines yet about the overall project, but we have goals to start testing next year. Obviously we’ll need a lot of feedback from players (and pros!) to ensure a complete rebuild of Rocket League feels right. Our general intent is that UE5 will replace the current Rocket League. I can’t say for certain today if it will be a new application or a major patch – there are too many dependencies and details around how each platform works, content ownership, etc. Your inventory in Rocket League will carry forward and be supported and respected in the UE5 edition.“
In-game RLCS features
The Rocket League Champions Series has stepped it up a notch with the 2021-22 season with new regions and an increased prize pool. However, many fans still hope to see some kind of in-game RLCS features such as broadcasts, pick-ems, schedules and more. Reddit user /u/SilentStargazer took the opportunity in this Rocket League AMA to ask Psyonix Esports Operations Manager Murty “scheist” Shah about it.
“This is something that’s been on the esports team’s wishlist for a very long time,” scheist said. “Right now, though, we’re making a lot of changes to our overall esports ecosystem to help streamline how the RLCS and all other leagues around it work. Things like adding more regions and giving them their own Rocket League streams, refining the formats, adding more opportunities for teams in the Esports Shop and upgrading our broadcasts are the pieces we’re putting into place before diving deeper into expanded in-game features for esports. We need a solid foundation to build upon, and with the way our esport has been growing, the esports team feels like we’re in a really solid place.”
He went on to say that the developers know the importance of these features and that it is on their radar.
Offline regional RLCS events
Currently the regional RLCS events are held online, while the global majors will be held in LAN environments. The first of these LANs is slated for December of 2021 in Stockholm. Reddit user /u/RickatoniYam asked scheist whether the regional events will also move to LAN someday.
“Having regional events become LANs in the future is totally possible, although as you mentioned dependent on how the global pandemic unfolds,” scheist said. “Covid hit the esport hard last season, causing us to cancel all live events for the entire year, and that was super tough to deal with. One of our biggest focuses for the 2021-22 season was making sure we could stand up live events, and do so in the safest way possible.”
So, while majors are definitely moving back to LAN, fans will have to wait a bit longer for regional events going offline, too. But the possibility exists, which is something fans could only dream of a few seasons back.
Ranked spectator mode
Like any other competitive game, Rocket League ranges from the casual newcomer to the incredibly skilled veteran. Over the years, fans have asked for a spectator mode, where players can spectate a lobby of a rank of their choosing. Reddit user /u/degenerus specifically asked this in the AMA and Psyonix’ Jake answered.
“We 1000% want to do this, it’s simply been a significant tech lift in the past,” Jake said. “We’re getting close to having something here, but unfortunately we can’t say much more just yet on the when and exactly what form this will take in its first iteration.”
As with many other questions about upcoming features, Psyonix was unable to say much. But, Psyonix seems excited about the idea and is actively working on making it happen, which is exciting news.
Other neat tidbits
Psyonix touched on many questions in the Rocket League AMA, such as social features, the process of creating new maps, dealing with toxicity and smurfs, and more. The answers have been compiled in a convenient overview by subreddit moderator /u/iggyiggz1999.