Rocket League, a quirky game that combines the thrill of rocket boosted battle cars with the excitement of soccer, was one of 2015’s biggest unexpected hits. Independently developed by Psyonix as a sequel to 2008’s Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle-Cars, the game saw incredible success, thanks in large part to being an exclusive free offering to subscribers on PlayStation Plus last July. It took off in a big way as a result, and millions of players have experienced the sheer veracity of what could be defined as “soccer with cars” on both PlayStation 4 and PC.

[a]listdaily recently talked to Psyonix’s director of development, Thomas Silloway, about Rocket League‘s success, and what’s in store as it zooms its way to Xbox One early next year.

Thomas SillowayRocket League turned out to be a far greater success than its similarly themed predecessor, Battle-Cars, and Silloway explained why. “Probably the biggest factor is just timing. It was the right time, we came out in the summer, PlayStation Plus, it just kind of got huge. There weren’t that many games coming out during that time period, so we think timing is the biggest reason. PlayStation Plus, getting that huge audience.”

Social network activity, discussions and online streamers also played a huge role. “[Gamers] just got really viral on YouTube and Reddit and everything, it just kind of built upon itself.”

As far as how Rocket League ended up being part of the PlayStation Plus program, Silloway stated, “I think it was a combination. We showed some interest, and Sony was interested, so we were able to work out a deal.”

Silloway also had plenty of say regarding the positive reaction behind the game. “It’s amazing. All of us are very humbled by the game. We’ve already had eight million players, and it’s done so much better than we’ve thought. And with the eSports ramping up, it’s a blast to watch, and we’re huge fans of the different eSports teams. It’s just really, really exciting, and we’ve got some cool things coming up next year as far as eSports, too.”

The game has seen a considerable amount of promotional content and updates, including the debut of the DeLorean from Back To the Future, just in time for the film’s 30th anniversary. More free and premium content is being planned for the game going into next year.

Finally, Silloway touched upon the game’s release on Xbox One. “We hope that the success of the PS4 and PC versions will help build up the audience for Xbox, and get people hyped up for it.”