Free-to-play is in such a weird spot.
Given that there are practically no regulations on it, "free" could actually mean "we gate your progress if you don't gamble on gacha party members." But some games actually are indeed free-to-play, and are completely supported by cosmetic purchases. When Rocket League goes free-to-play very soon, it's coming with a few more perks: it will not require Switch Online or PlayStation Plus memberships to play.
Announced by way of Rocket League's official blog in a very quick and nonchalant line, "PlayStation Plus on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch Online will no longer be required for online play on those platforms." That's good news! Unfortunately Xbox Live is not mentioned here, as Microsoft is still fairly stringent with how it enforces membership requirements, even for free-to-play games.
The blog also goes over some new advancements for the next build, including the merging of Rocket IDs and the Epic Games friends list, new quick chats, another bot difficulty (it will be "under rookie," as now is the time to cater to the new player experience!), a new tutorial, a revamp of competitive rankings and streamlined seasons.
As for when this will all arrive, Psyonix is mum on giving people an actual date. Smart! They know that when a date is given everyone will expect it to arrive at that exact time, Hell or highwater. "Mid-September" is the vague target they're going with for now for the update, with "the launch of free-to-play following shortly after."
Rocket League free-to-play [Rocket League]