Well, maybe not that much. After all, the game’s only been around for three years. Rocket League’s newest Jurassic Park-themed DLC, however, aims to provide that crossover we never asked for but are now wondering “where the hell has this been all my life?”
The trailer starts off with an ominous score and thudding footfalls. Ripples on the water with the game’s logo are a foreboding sight. Next thing we know, the iconic Jeep Wrangler from the Jurassic Park franchise is being chased by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. The T-Rex has its work cut out for it, however, when the Jeep boosts itself and smashes the ball head-on for the goal. This is followed by the T-Rex’s thunderous roar.
It’s so over-the-top and hilarious, that you can’t help but applaud developer Psyonix’s collaboration with Universal. With Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom set for release on June 22 in North America, it’s no surprise that Psyonix and Rocket League would get in on the action.
The Rocket League DLC, meanwhile, will be available on June 18, priced at $1.99. For this price, a little less than John Hammond’s investment for his attractions on Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, you’ll get the following:
- The Jurassic Jeep Wrangler Battle-Car; Blue team gets the Jurassic World decal of the Jeep while the Orange team gets the Jurassic Park version.
- T. rex Goal Explosion — this is a “Hold on to your butts” moment.
- You’ll get an assortment of decorations such as the Jurassic Park Hard Hat Topper, and new Mr. DNA Player Banners. Also included are Jurassic-themed InGen Flags.
‘Life finds a way’ for Rocket League
What makes the collaboration meaningful and telling is that Rocket League has become both a casual pastime and a major esports extravaganza in just three years. It started out as the brainchild of Psyonix founder Dave Hagewood, a modder who focused on Unreal Tournament. That’s one of the forerunners of the modern esports shooters genre. It was made by Epic Games who would, later on, create Fortnite — you might have heard of it.
Hagewood added vehicle support for Unreal Tournament 2003 and caught the eye of Epic Games, leading to his employment. Having worked on Onslaught, a multiplayer mode for Unreal Tournament 2004 emphasizing vehicular combat, Hagewood, and a small team started thinking of combining competitive gaming and car combat in the vein of Twisted Metal with a dash of the casual and fun atmosphere of Super Smash Bros.
With Hagewood heading his own studio, Psyonix, the team crafted Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars. That mouthful of a game was released in 2008. That game was, according to its design director Corey Davis, perhaps “the worst-named game of all time.” Almost no one batted an eye when it came to Battle-Cars. Even though it was Rocket League’s predecessor, critical and commercial success were hard to come by.
‘The new alpha’
Seven years later, the developers leaned heavily on social media and Reddit to market Rocket League. Along with the popularity of video game streaming on YouTube and Twitch, it managed to gain a level of recognition that completely surprised everyone.
In two years, the game amassed 29 million registered players with over 35 million lifetime views on Twitch. Today, that number has grown to 45 million players. It has its own competitive league, the Rocket League Championship Series, which awarded $600,000 across multiple continents back in 2016. This week, we’ll see the Season 5 World Championship take place in London as well.
With cross-play viability across multiple platforms such as on PC, Playstation 4, Xbox One, and even on the Nintendo Switch, you’re never lacking for some 3v3 football-with-cars action. New content surprises such as the recent patch 1.45, with a summer theme on the beach, keep fans coming back for more.
This collaboration with Universal only shows that Psyonix have created a game that truly entertains its audiences. Cross-overs between games and major film franchises, or with wrestling giant WWE, have helped the company continue to market itself in a huge way.
Not bad. Not bad at all. And it didn’t take 65 million years for Rocket League to get there.