How User Generated Content Became The Driving Force Behind Rocket League’s Success
If you’re an avid gamer, you’ve probably heard of Rocket League. It’s a unique soccer (or football for most!) based game mixed with vehicles, giant balls, speed boosters, and all sorts of fun.
It was first released in 2015 and has been one of the most popular games since, both in a casual sense, as well as rising to be one of the biggest esports titles. With the game being so unique and easy to play, yet hard to master, it’s no surprise that it was able to rise in popularity.
However, one of the biggest driving forces behind Rocket League’s success was the developer’s, Psyonix, utilization of user generated content. The company heavily leaned into the community aspect of the game from day one and has utilized user content throughout the game’s lifespan to bolster their marketing efforts.
This has worked out to great effect, as the game is now a huge hit, has a great spot within its own unique market, and continues to grow thanks to further emphasis on ugc and the community.
Let’s take at how user generated content helped drive Rocket League into the top of the gaming world.
Rocket League and User Generated Content
When it comes to Rocket League and user generated content, things are a bit different than most games. After all, players control vehicles that speed around hitting a giant ball into a goal - How much content can you really generate around that?
The answer is, maybe somewhat surprisingly, a lot. Rocket League ugc mainly comes in video form and a high amount of it is actually encouraged, if not directly requested, by Psyonix. This content usually breaks down into things like twitch streams, video guides, highlights, memes, and more.
Of course, the game is somewhat limited when it comes to other forms of user content and you’ll rarely see fan art or cosplay of Rocket League (although it would be interesting to see someone cosplay as a car). However, this hasn’t stopped both the community and the devs from making the most of it.
How Psyonix Have Utilized UGC
Psyonix have lent into user generated content and their community very heavily and it seems to have paid off, considering the huge success their game has become. They did this in a variety of ways, with one of the main things being a constant support and encouragement of ugc.
They promote user content in a variety of ways and more than most other developers out there. Rocket League features things like the community play of the week, which is a weekly highlight of an impressive move in-game. This encourages users to record and share their gameplay on social media, which not only promotes the game, but also gives Psyonix a ton of content to use on their own social pages to highlight how amazing the game can be.
To add to this, a lot of this type of content also comes from Psynoix's partnership with micro and nano-influencers. These are smaller creators (for example Twitch streamers averaging 10 or fewer viewers) and working with them allows a company to build up viewership and popularity from the grassroots level, all while spending less than they would on one large scale influencer.
Similarly, they also focus on large-scale content creators, such as pro players, Twitch streamers, and YouTube creators by hosting a monthly community spotlight. The community spotlight is a lengthy post on the official Rocket League website, highlighting one creator every month. This shows off their content, talks about the creator, and there’s usually an exclusive interview too.
This idea is another great way to nurture ugc as it encourages users to create content, knowing they’ll be appreciated by the developers and have a chance to be featured on their page, which will open up their channels to be viewed by the millions of active players.
Last but not least, Psyonix also directly works with creators, hiring them to create content on Rocket League’s behalf, which once again benefits both parties. This usually comes in the form of informational videos or promotional videos, with Rocket League official channels having a ton of guides or promotions created by collaborations with creators.
All this creates an amazing mutually beneficial cycle between Psyonix and creators, or even just fans who occasionally want to make a highlight or a meme. By promoting a wide variety of content, the developers make it very appealing for anyone to create content, knowing it will be appreciated and there’s strong potential for being featured on the game’s official channels, whether you’re an amateur fan making a clip, or a full-time Rocket League creator.
This makes it much more likely for users to create content, which then, in turn, helps promote the game and draws in more users, some of which will no doubt be motivated to create content, and so on.
Rocket League has seen strong viewership so far in 2021 (via Lurkit)
Overall, Psynoix’s strategy has proved to be massively successful and it’s easy to see that not only is Rocket League thriving, there are a ton of successful content creators lifting up the game on platforms like Twitch and YouTube, as well as a plethora of exciting content being generated by casual users.