We finally have a release date for one of the best games I’ve ever played. Rocket League is coming to Xbox One on February 17. And with it, three previously released DLC packs including – ‘Supersonic Fury,’ ‘Revenge of the Battle-Cars’ and ‘Chaos Run.’
One part of the press release caught my eye (emphasis mine). “Psyonix is incredibly proud to be bringing it to you thanks to our development partners at Panic Button. With their help and expertise, we were able to bring Rocket League to XB1 with a high level of performance and fidelity.”
Using another developer to port a game to a different platform isn’t unheard of. We see it a lot when Xbox One and PS4 games are ported to Xbox 360 and PS3. Nixxes Software helped bring Rise of the Tomb Raider to Xbox 360 and did a fine job doing it. Bluepoint Games handled the impressive Xbox 360 version of Titanfall.
While these developers are often unsung heroes, it doesn’t always work out. Batman: Arkham Knight’s botched PC version was handled by Iron Galaxy. Warner Bros. made the drastic decision to remove the game from Steam until the slew of bugs and performance issues were fixed.
Who is Panic Button?
The developer describes themselves as having “a solid history as an agile game developer specializing in co-development, ports, full game production and original IP.”
Last year, they helped bring Octodad: Dadliest Catch to the Nintendo Wii U. Before that, they teamed up with Disney multiple times. Panic Button developed the PS4 and PS Vita versions of Disney Infinity (2.0 Edition) and the PS4 version of Disney Infinity (3.0 Edition).
The team also worked alongside other developers to deliver games such as PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale and Star Wars: The Old Republic. They’re no stranger to working alongside other developers and delivering on ports.
It’s good to see Psyonix partner with a developer with plenty of experience. Now, give me Rocket League just like it is on the other platforms and I’m there day one.
No cross-play with Rocket League on Xbox One
This is bogus. Period. Here’s what Psyonix tweeted in December.
@rlpte The Xbox platform doesn’t allow for crossplay matchmaking between other systems as a general practice across all titles.
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) December 4, 2015
The ‘general practice’ statement should be noted here. There are a couple of games that do support cross-play between Xbox One and PC including #IDARB and upcoming games Gigantic and Fable Legends. But cross-play between Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs is the exception, not the rule.
Microsoft is dropping the ball here. I play Rocket League on PC all the time, and it’s not unusual to see around 100,000 players on during peak hours. On PC, Rocket League’s peak player count today is already near 37,000 players. Wouldn’t it be nice to have that player base baked in already? Instead, Xbox One owners will be counting on good sales to boost the player base.
Despite the lack of cross-play, I’ll be double-dipping next week. What about you?