Did Ubisoft, a controversial gaming developer, just invent a new spectator sport? Because it would seem that their upcoming Roller Champions video game is now all the hype. The free-to-play PVP derby game, which was previously revealed in 2019, now has a release date, a list of supported platforms, and a new game trailer that invites gamers to join the new roller championship spectator sport with massively scalable walls and Tron-like streams of light. Check out the trailer below:
As Polygon reports, the upcoming Roller Champions is set to launch in less than a week, on May 25, on PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. Ubisoft also announced the game for Nintendo Switch, but as usual, the handheld version of the game will launch at a later date — a gaming industry’s trend of releasing AAA titles on Switch at a later date, Alan Wake remake being the latest title to join Nintendo’s console. The game is also scheduled to release on Google’s now-abandoned Stadia and Amazon Luna, following the release of the handheld version of the game.
The rules of the game are pretty simple: the player will be divided into two three-players teams racing around a track while competing to keep the possession of a ball. The more laps a team completes while being in possession of a ball counts for more points when they ultimately toss it through the score hoop. Imagine basketball, but on a racetrack for rollerblades. Something similar to Motorball from Alita: Battle Angel, but probably with a lot less violence — though some gamers wouldn’t complain against having such a gaming mode in Roller Champions.
But there’s more. If the opposing team snatches the ball, the team previously holding the ball loses the points accumulated through running laps. This makes movement in-game super important since players need to do anything in their power to keep themselves safe and with plenty of distance from opponents in case they have the ball or deck an opponent to get an advantage. As previously mentioned, the Roller Champions arena is absolutely massive and features scalable walls and plenty of bright lights.
There’s some player progression present, in the form of unlockable leagues and stadiums, mimicking the progression from being a rookie derby player to a big-time derby star. These unlockables will also include cosmetics for character customization, allowing gamers to express their competitive spirit through their intimidating avatars. Roller Champions releases as a free-to-play game, financially fueled by exclusive cosmetics and a seasonal pass schedule — so, microtransactions.
For those unacquainted with the game, Ubisoft first announced it with a playable demo on E3 in 2019, but the game went through several rounds of alpha and beta testing before Ubisoft concluded that the game needed more time, delaying the game from February to May. As of next Wednesday, May 25, Roller Champions will become available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC (via Ubisoft Store), with all versions of the game supporting cross-play and cross-progression between platforms. Naturally, a Nintendo Switch version of the game is also in development, scheduled for a later release date.