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Is Rocket League on Steam or Epic?

Rocket League is currently only available on the Epic Games Store for PC and is no longer purchasable on Steam. Existing owners can still play on Steam, but all new players must download it through Epic.

Now let‘s dive into a comprehensive guide on Rocket League‘s divisive transition to Epic exclusivity on PC and what it means for Steam…

A Brief History of Rocket League‘s Switch from Steam to Epic Games Store

Here is a quick timeline of key events in Rocket League‘s move from Steam to Epic exclusivity:

July 2015 – Rocket League first launches on Steam

May 2019 – Epic Games acquires Rocket League developer Psyonix

July 2020 – Psyonix announces Rocket League is going free-to-play and will move to the Epic Games Store

September 2020 – Rocket League goes free-to-play and is removed from Steam, becoming an Epic exclusive

So in the span of just over a year, Psyonix was acquired by Epic and promptly switched the distribution of its hit game away from Steam over to the Epic Games Store on PC. This was part of Epic‘s controversial efforts to pull more exclusives onto its fledgling storefront.

Player Counts and Revenues: Steam vs. Epic Games Store

As of February 2023, here is how the Steam and Epic Games Store compare in some key metrics:

Users Steam – Over 120 million monthly active users Epic Games Store – Over 200 million accounts
Market Share Steam – 75% of PC game market Epic Games Store – 10% of PC game market
Revenue Split Steam – 30% cut of game revenues Epic Games Store – 12% cut of game revenues

As the table illustrates, Steam still absolutely dominates the PC gaming market. But Epic quickly grew to become a formidable competitor, especially given its more favorable 88/12 revenue split for developers compared to Steam‘s 70/30 split.

Industry Expert Analysis on Epic‘s Controversial Exclusivity Strategy

Epic signing games like Rocket League to exclusivity deals was met with significant criticism by some players who had come to expect Steam availability.

According to Sergey Galyonkin, creator of SteamSpy, "For Epic, exclusives are a way to grow the market presence faster, even if it angers some consumers. For developers, it’s a way to secure funding and minimize risks."

Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush Securities, said that while Epic‘s moves are controversial, they come from a place of trying to break Steam‘s effective monopoly on PC game downloads. "I think that the competition is ultimately good for consumers and good for developers."

But Epic‘s tactics have also been questioned by pro-consumer advocates. "I don‘t think this is the kind of competition we need to foster a healthy gaming environment for players," said Laura Kate Dale, author and gaming personality. "Brand exclusivity just makes consumers the enemy."

The debate rages on, but Epic has shown no signs of backing down from its exclusivity strategy as a means of carving out PC gaming market share from Steam.

Technical and Feature Differences Between Steam and Epic Games Store

For players, the Epic Games Store and Steam offer quite different experiences:

Features

  • Steam has more robust community options like forums, reviews, activity feeds, groups, and player profiles.
  • Epic lacks achievements, trading cards, and other ancillary Steam features.

Performance

  • Some players report more technical issues and bugs with the Epic Games Launcher.
  • Epic Launcher uses fewer system resources than Steam resulting in lightweight performance.

So in summary, Steam provides a richer set of social features, but the Epic Games Launcher has less overhead and runs lighter. In terms of server quality and download speeds, both platforms are on close to equal footing.

Technical Workarounds to Get the Best of Both Steam and Epic

For players who own Rocket League on both Steam and Epic, you can get the best of both worlds through these technical workarounds:

  • Add the Epic Games Launcher as a "non-Steam game" in your Steam library to launch it from Steam.
  • Use third-party tools like GloSC to add the Epic Games Launcher as a Steam game and enable the Steam overlay.
  • Link your Steam and Epic accounts in Rocket League to sync progression and inventories between both versions.

The Community Response to Rocket League‘s Epic Exclusivity

According to a July 2020 poll on the RocketLeague subreddit with over 50,000 votes, here is how players said Epic exclusivity would impact them:

I‘m not buying any more DLC 48%
I don‘t care either way 22%
I‘m done playing Rocket League 13%
I will buy DLC on Epic instead 9%
I‘m now more likely to play Rocket League 8%

The poll illustrates a plurality will avoid further DLC purchases due to the forced migration away from Steam. However, a combined 30% either didn‘t care or were more likely to play thanks to Epic.

In my own experience talking with players as a contributor to CoolFreePage, reactions range from resignation to outrage and boycotting the game entirely. There are good-faith arguments on both sides.

But it‘s clear a majority of the Rocket League community would prefer the game to have remained available on Steam rather than limited to the Epic Games Store on PC.

What Experts Are Saying About Rocket League Potentially Returning to Steam

With Epic exclusivity deals often lasting 1 year, could Rocket League ever make a return to the Steam storefront? Let‘s see what industry analysts think:

"It seems highly unlikely Rocket League will return to Steam," said Piers Harding-Rolls, research director at Ampere Analysis. "Epic plans to maximize exclusivity benefits from its licensing deals over the long term."

"I don‘t foresee Rocket League returning to Steam," said Thomas Bidaux, founder of Ico Partners. "Epic wants to make the Epic Games Store mandatory for key multiplayer PC titles."

"While not impossible, I would be very surprised if Epic ever allowed Rocket League back on Steam," said Billy Kahn, Senior Gaming Analyst at Critical Reach. "It defeats the purpose of their exclusivity arrangement."

Based on expert consensus, Rocket League continuing to remain Epic exclusive seems almost certain given Epic‘s business strategy. While fans may request its return to Steam, industry-watchers agree the chances are extremely slim.

In Conclusion – The Core Game Remains Intact

The loss of Rocket League on Steam remains a sore spot for many PC gamers, especially long-time veterans who owned the original version.

However, thanks to full cross-play support, the core game remains playable and enjoyable whether you‘re on Steam or Epic. Plus linking your accounts keeps progression unified.

For new players at least, downloading Rocket League for free from the Epic Games Store remains a fantastic value proposition – even if the social features aren‘t as robust as Steam. And the recent addition of support for Steam Workshop mods helps close the gap.

So while the exclusive distribution rights are mired in controversy, Rocket League thankfully continues to evolve as one of the most creative and enjoyable multiplayer experiences out there. May the rocket-powered, car-soccer goodness continue for years to come!