The team at Psyonix are no doubt going to be having a very merry Christmas indeed. The developer’s mega hit of the year, Rocket League, has brought in a profit of nearly $50 million since its launch in July, attracting over 8 million players with its physics-based, automobile acrobatics. It’s an impressive feat considering that the game cost just under $2 million to make.
The Wall Street Journal describes how the studio was not sure that Rocket League, a sequel to the studio’s much lesser known and rather laboriously titled Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, was going to be a hit. The previous game failed to make any big waves, which Psyonix founder Dave Hagewood puts down to as “a problem with awareness.” Due to the indeterminate financial success of Rocket League, the team had to do some uncredited work on big titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Gears Of War to help bring in some income during its production.
Hagewood credits the game’s breakout success to making it available for free to all PlayStation Plus subscribers and then allowing for word-of-mouth marketing to sell the game to non-subscribers and PC gamers. It was a plan that clearly worked, with the game’s popularity quickly soaring.
As well as its stellar financial success, the game was also a critical success, earning best sports/racing title and best independent game at the 2015 Game Awards. It continues to have a thriving online community, which it will surely maintain for a long time to come, partly thanks to lots of fun DLC, including the Back To The Future DeLorean pack and this December’s free Winter Games update.
Rocket League is currently available for PS4 and PC. Xbox One owners will be able to powerslide onto the pitch in February when their version is finally released.