After a long beta, Rocket League is finally set to be released in China. The game was announced for a Chinese release all the way back in April 2017, but due to a hold on new video game releases by the Chinese government, it’s taken longer than initially planned. Now, however, the game can finally be marketed (and free to play, in this case) to an enormous new audience, beginning with ChinaJoy, a large Chinese gaming convention.
But what about the Chinese competitive Rocket League scene?
The professional scene in China is… lacking, to say the least. They have repeatedly struggled to get results at the higher levels and are, of course, not yet included in the RLCS. The highest Asian league, the Asian Pro League, is currently being dominated by teams from the Middle East and Japan, who have had access to the game since the beginning. But with the game officially releasing, we can expect an influx of players, and therefore a larger competitive scene. Whether they will be the ones representing Asia when they are finally included in the RLCS, however, remains to be seen. Either way, it’s a good thing for Rocket League to gain more ground in Asia.
Free to play and other unique features
Back when Rocket League was announced for China, it was also revealed that the game would be free to play, in order to better suit the Chinese audience. Several screenshots of the Chinese build quickly came out afterward, like this gorgeous map that is not yet available to us in the west. Hopefully, with the Chinese release, we’ll get to play on it here, too.
Another feature that was spotted was a trail that showed where the ball was about to land, but whether this will end up being a permanent feature is unclear.
Rocket League becoming free to play is a discussion that’s been going on for a long time, and it brings up interesting questions. Is free-to-play the right direction for the game, or will it simply only work with an audience that’s used to these games? With Tencent owning a large part of Epic and Epic buying Psyonix, one has to wonder whether this will also be where the western version of the game is headed. After all, Fortnite has been doing quite well for Epic, to say the least.