Rocket League Item Trading Ban Leads to Outcry

The Rocket League Community is Now Calling for Boycotts

The Rocket League community has erupted with outrage in response to a controversial decision by publisher Epic Games and developer Psyonix to eliminate item trading within the popular car soccer game.

On December 5 at 4 pm Pacific / 7 pm Eastern / 12 midnight UK, the announcement was made, stating that player-to-player trading would be discontinued. The rationale provided was that this move was aimed at aligning Rocket League with Epic’s broader approach to in-game cosmetics and item shop policies, where items are not tradeable, transferable, or sellable. The decision also had implications for Rocket League’s future, as it would facilitate the introduction of Rocket League vehicles into other Epic games over time, promoting cross-game ownership.

Psyonix assured players that the trade-in system for core items, tournament items, and blueprints would allow them to continue trading duplicate or unwanted items for new items of higher rarity. Importantly, players would not lose any items that had previously been traded when player-to-player trading ceased.

Simultaneously, Psyonix issued a cautionary notice to individuals contemplating the use of “fraudulent” third-party trading websites or servers. “After December 5, there will be no way to trade items with any player or between accounts,” Psyonix warned. “Websites or servers advertising such services are fraudulent and have no connection to Psyonix or Epic Games.”

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This statement triggered a vehement backlash from the Rocket League community. Some raised concerns about achievements requiring trading, which would become impossible to attain following the changes. The decision was met with strong dissent across social media and, in particular, on the Rocket League subreddit, where numerous players expressed their discontent.

This discontent is rooted in the perception that the quality of the game has diminished since Epic’s acquisition of Psyonix in May 2019. While Psyonix initially promised that the partnership with Epic would lead to greater community support, players believe this promise has not been fulfilled.

The removal of the trading feature is seen as the last straw in a series of decisions that have disheartened players, leading to accusations that the game has suffered due to profit-seeking motives. These criticisms have intensified the negative perception of Epic Games, which recently made substantial layoffs affecting 830 employees, and CEO Tim Sweeney’s strategies have drawn scrutiny amid the pursuit of the metaverse and costly legal battles.