Rocket League achieved a significant milestone earlier this week, with more than 30 million players now enjoying the game, but its sales in China may not be up to par, as Psyonix has announced a partnership with Asian gaming behemoth Tencent Games to bring a free-to-play PC version to the region.
The move will not be entirely unfamiliar to the developer, since it initially launched the game as a free title for PlayStation Plus members in 2015.
In any case, the new Tencent Games-published version doesn't sound like it will have any pay-to-win elements. Instead, the developer ensures players that "the core gameplay experience will remain unchanged", and "hold true to our 'community first' mantra, where skill and teamwork are your most important attributes".
Although exactly how the game will be monetized is unconfirmed, the developer's comments strongly suggest a cosmetic item based microtransaction system. The current paid version's item system consists of DLC Battle-Cars, skins and exotic items via crates, as well as free item drops for simply playing the game.
All in all, it will be interesting to see how the Chinese publisher, who owns other popular free games such as League of Legends and Clash of Clans, will handle the free-to-play version, with more information regarding it being available on Tencent Games' official website.
Rocket League's free version does not have a release date yet, as it's still under development. However, note that the Steam version will no longer be purchasable in China from here onwards, but it will continue to function for players who already own it.