Rocket League is immensely popular, but it is not without its problems. The game has faced server issues recently, resulting in long matchmaking times. Now, developer the CEO of developer Psyonix has pledged to improve the online component of the game.
“In regards to both backend (PsyNet) issues, and game server performance, we agree that the server outages and recent lengthy matchmaking times are totally unacceptable,” Dave Hagewood said in a blog post today. “We sincerely apologize to all of our players for the quality of online play, and we are focusing all of our available resources on addressing PsyNet’s capabilities and performance, and the quality of our game servers.”
Hagewood said part of the issue is due to Rocket League’s continued popularity. The number of monthly “active” players has risen by 40 percent compared to 2016 for the first few months of 2017, he said. “We need to do a better job at scaling up our systems and internal processes to handle this kind of growth,” Hagewood explained.
Hagewood went on to say that Psyonix is “racing” to fill jobs on the developer’s Online Services team, which handles the developer’s backend systems.
“We are effectively becoming an Online Service company, as Rocket League is primarily an online game, and we continue to grow in size and scope,” Hagewood said. “Growing this team is one of our top priorities as we approach Rocket League’s two-year anniversary in July.”
Hagewood added that the problems with Rocket League’s online elements rose to the surface about the same time of the free weekend on Xbox One in February. “We have seen more and more of you playing Rocket League online, and this has led to new issues that hadn’t appeared as we scaled our capacity up to this point,” he said.
There have also been performance problems inside of the Google Cloud network, which is used to power PsyNet. Here is a breakdown of what Psyonix is doing right now to address the issues, as written by Psyonix:
- Since the February outages, we assigned additional dedicated staff from our Online Services team to database stability and reliability. They are hard at work on changes like separating high-traffic features like Player Trading and “Scraper API” access used by third party sites from our core services. This will reduce load on the PsyNet database and reduce exposure to outages during peak hours. We definitely don’t want to keep you off the pitch on weekends or holidays.
- We are working closely with Google engineers to investigate the disturbances to our database performance from outside our cloud instance.
As for Rocket League’s matchmaking delays, these have “become apparent” in the days after the Dropshot mode’s release last week. One of the problems here is that there are empty servers but PsyNet, the backend infrastructure, is not getting players into servers as fast as it should.
“This causes the extreme search times being reported on social media,” Hagewood said. “As this is a new problem, we are still investigating the root cause. We have made changes in the interim to reduce the likelihood of it recurring, but more substantial improvements will be made throughout 2017.”
Finally, Hagewood said Rocket League is suffering through problems related to dedicated servers, which appear to the player as “lag spikes” or other “hiccups” that don’t have anything to do with a player’s ping.
“This problem is particularly difficult to identify because so many issues factor into a user’s experience with a dedicated server,” Hagewood said. “Local connection problems can cause packet loss or an unstable connection despite a steady ping sample. Individual ISPs can have routing issues to one of our server hosts that causes unusually high ping that we have no control over.”
You can read the full blog post here for a very deep dive into the specifics.
“Growing pains are just that–painful–and we cannot thank our players enough for sticking with us as we continue to grow,” Hagewood said.
According to the latest available data from Psyonix, Rocket League had reached 29 million registered players and passed 10.5 million copies sold. You shouldn’t expect Rocket League 2 anytime soon, as Psyonix is instead going to focus on growing and evolving the current game with new updates.