Halloween is right around the corner, and Rocket League Items after that, it's officially The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year. But if you were planning on sending any of your usual Rocket League pals some in-game gifts, it might be time to rethink your holiday shopping plans. The chaotic vehicular soccer game has had a trading and item-transfer mechanic for years, but developer Psyonix just revealed that this feature will me removed in December--and it won't be coming back.

The developer recently made an announcement informing players that Rocket League's trading system will be shut down just in time for the holidays, preventing players from trading with their friends or transferring items to them. Yes, you read that right: After December 5, Rocket League players will no longer be able to trade or transfer items with their friends.

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So where did this curveball come from, and why is Psyonix suddenly decommissioning a feature of the game that has been a staple for years? Well, according to the blog post explaining this decision, it's totally not their fault.

"We’re making this change to align with Epic’s overall approach to game cosmetics and item shop policies, where items aren’t tradable, transferrable, or sellable," reads the statement on the official Rocket League website. "This opens up future plans for some Rocket League vehicles to come to other Epic Games over time, supporting cross-game ownership."

This has quite a few players scratching their heads, because the presence of gift-giving and trading doesn't prevent cross-game ownership from existing. If that's something Psyonix wants to do, it's doubtful that the presence of a trading system is hindering their ability to develop this cross-game ownership in anyway.

As one might imagine, Twitter users did not take the news well, accusing Psyonix of giving into the demands of a money-hungry company (Epic) due to greed, cowardice, or both. The fact that Epic Games laid off nearly 900 employees just a few days ago as a cost-cutting measure certainly doesn't help the situation... especially when players learned that one thing Epic wasn't holding back on was spending money on their metaverse project.

For players who have further questions, the previously cited blog post does contain a FAQ section that answers a total of four questions. To briefly sum up the FAQ:

If you have duplicate or unwanted items, the trade-in system for Blueprints, Core items, and Tournament items will allow you to continue trading in eligible/unwanted items in exchange for a random new item.

If you lent someone an item and want it back, you'd better get it now, as item lending is "not supported by Psyonix and all trades are considered final." Psyonix goes on to explain that their support team cannot help reverse trades.

As for the fate of third-party trading websites or servers, they will officially be useless after December 5, so anyone advertising trading services are to be considered "fraudulent, and have no connection to Psyonix or Epic Games." If you see someone offering to give/trade you something, it's likely some sort of scam. There will be no way to trade items with other players or between accounts once the feature is removed.
On the bright side, the change will not reverse or undo any trades you've already made. What's yours now will still be your even after December 5. But if there's an item you desperately want, now is definitely the time to track it down and trade for it, as you have just under two months before the trading system is removed entirely.

There is a very slight silver lining here for affected players, though that lining is paper-thin: At the very least, items you have transferred to a friend (or received from one) will still be in your inventory. But if there's any trading you really want to do, you'll want to get a move on--Rocket League is removing all item transfer functionality on Monday, December 4 at 4:00 PM PT / 7:00 PM ET, so if you're planning to trade gear with friends this holiday season, you might want to do your digital gift shopping a little bit early... or perhaps just stick to physical gifts.

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