Over the past few weeks, an indie game called Rocket League has been building up a huge player base thanks to its novel gameplay and a gripping sense of competition online. You might not have heard of Rocket League yet, but rest assured that this will be remembered as one of the most essential releases of the year.
Now, the team behind the game at Psyonix has announced that it has hit the major milestone of five million downloads. Considering it launched earlier this month, that’s no small feat — although the fact that it’s part of the Instant Game Collection available to PlayStation Plus subscribers is likely responsible for many of those downloads.
Rocket League puts players in control of a rocket-powered car and tells them to play football (or soccer if you’re American). The result is a surprisingly graceful team-based competition, which has already produced countless GIFs of amazing goals and even more impressive saves.
The fact that players have shared so many of their best feats has definitely had a massive impact on the amount of people giving the game a try. The title’s growth has been completely organic — once you see the sort of gameplay on offer, it’s very difficult not to feel the urge to jump in and give it a go.
Psyonix released a similar title for the PlayStation 3, the catchily titled Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars. However, that title only managed to rack up half the downloads that Rocket League amassed in its first three weeks over the course of its lifespan.
The key difference may well be the fact that last generation consoles didn’t offer any way for players to quickly and easily capture gameplay footage and upload it to share with the community. It seems like Rocket League is the first game to use the sharing functionality introduced with the PlayStation 4 to its maximum marketing potential.
In an era when pre-order bonuses and junk food sponsorships are the norm in terms of advertising, it’s rather refreshing to see a game become a hit thanks to players sharing their gameplay footage. The means of doing so are very modern, but the idea is as old as video games are.
Great gameplay will often win out over flashy marketing — and when a game is as fun to watch as Rocket League, there’s a good chance that it’s going to be fun to play, too.
Have you taken Rocket League for a spin yet? Let us know what you think in the comments.
Rocket League is available now for PlayStation 4 and PC.