In an announcement made earlier today on the Rocket League website, Psyonix revealed that loot crates are set to be removed from the game later this year. Once the crates get the ax, the team will be replacing them with a brand new system in order to allow players to pick and choose what cosmetics they wish to purchase without luck factoring in. The new system will work in tandem with the existing structure for the Rocket Pass, DLC vehicles, as well as the more recent eSports Shop items, which are currently available for direct purchase.
— Rocket League (@RocketLeague) August 6, 2019
Earlier this year, Psyonix was acquired by Epic Games and a blog post from the developers stressed that the game would not change due to the Epic ownership. However, it would seem that the decision to remove the loot crates from Rocket League may have originated from Epic Games, and not put forth by the Psyonix team themselves. At the beginning of the year, Fortnite also changed their loot system, moving away from a randomized practice to one that is more transparent (quite literally) for the players. While it did take a little bit for Rocket League to follow suit, it’s probably not a coincidence that they did.
The changes in loot policy for both games most likely stems from the ongoing discussion about loot boxes and their legality. A prominent issue in both the US and the UK, the jury is still out as to whether or not loot boxes technically count as gambling, as players traditionally do not know what they contain when they receive them, be it through gameplay or purchased with real-world money. It would seem that Epic and Psyonix are simply staying ahead of the verdict.
While it is decided that loot crates will be removed from Rocket League at some point this year, a definitive date has not been announced. Psyonix is expected to make further announcements about a date on both their website as well as their social media channels sometime in the future.