Rocket League will be free to play in a relatively short period of time and in the run-up to that situation, developer Psyonix has announced that a PlayStation Plus or Nintendo Switch Online subscription is no longer required. This does not seem to be the case for Xbox Live Gold.
This step means that players on the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 no longer need one of the associated subscriptions to play Rocket League online. These subscriptions are usually required to play games online on these platforms.
Psyonix does not elaborate on this step, nor does it provide any new information on when exactly Rocket League will become free to play. That should be done this summer. The game will disappear from Steam at that point to appear on the Epic Games Store. Epic Games took over Psyonix last year.
This change, the removal of a mandatory subscription to play online, does not seem to affect Xbox One users. There is a similar subscription for this console: Xbox Live Gold. Psyonix says nothing more about that. It seems that Xbox One players will still need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to play the soccer racing game online.
Perhaps this is due to the fact that Rocket League has been part of the Xbox Game Pass for over two years now. The regular version of the Game Pass does not include the online gaming subscription, but it does with the more expensive Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription.
It may also be because Microsoft has stopped selling Xbox Live Gold annual subscriptions. The monthly or quarterly subscriptions are still available, but this step seems to be the precursor for an adjustment in the Live Gold subscriptions. There are rumors that with the arrival of the new generation of consoles, Microsoft is changing its strategy and focusing more on the Game Pass subscription. Live Gold may expire in its entirety or become a standard part of the Game Pass subscription.