2021 Ford F-150 Rockets Into Esports

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

The 2021 Ford F-150 has a plethora of parts and accessories available, but none like a rocket booster that comes with a virtual version of Ford’s best-seller.

Video game maker Psyonix has added an animated F-150 to their popular Rocket League multiplayer video game, where vehicles are used to compete in soccer matches. Available for in-game purchase February 20-28, the F-150 Rocket League Edition (RLE) bundle includes a chairman decal, two sets of wheels, RLE engine audio, rocket booster, and a player banner.

The F-150 in Rocket League comes after Ford’s success in sponsoring other titles, such as Xbox’s Forza. Working alongside Psyonix, a video game developer of note, the icon was created. Commercial shorts narrated by ‘Breaking Bad’ actor Bryan Cranston will be produced by Ford, targeted at gamers.

“It had to be an F-150 but one that fits within Psyonix’ extreme virtual world pairing soccer and mayhem,” said Ehab Kaoud, chief designer, Ford trucks. “F-150 is already the most popular truck in the real world, and this F-150 Rocket League Edition is poised to be the most popular truck in the gaming world, too. It’s Built Ford Tough meets gaming.”

Ford will serve as presenting sponsor of this month’s Rocket League Championship Series Winter Majors with an arena filled with billboards, and a special F-150 repair vehicle that repaints boundary lines and tows away damaged vehicles. In addition, Ford is sponsoring the Ford + Rocket League Freestyle Invitational, a competition where select players show off their best moves and tricks in-game, with one contestant winning a real 2021 Ford F-series pickup.

More than 214 million Americans play video games, and 75 percent of all U.S. households are home to at least one gamer, according to the gaming industry’s Entertainment Software Association.

“As opportunities in gaming continue to grow, we’re really looking at this as its own marketing channel,” said Scott Denby, strategy manager, Ford brand content and alliances. “It’s the same way you would look at social media or TV and film integration. We’re identifying authentic ways to be involved in gaming and to do it in a meaningful way. We want to make sure we’re adding to the player communities’ experience.”

[Images: Ford]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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8 of 10 comments
  • EBFlex EBFlex on Feb 12, 2021

    Pointless. If you really want to spend your money wisely, you get your licensed vehicles into the Grand Theft Auto franchise. And other game is a waste of money.

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    • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on Feb 15, 2021

      This. I have never heard of this game and few in the US care about soccer so unless this game is popular internationally and Ford is trying to get at that audience, I don't see the 4D chess here.

  • JK I grew up with Dodge trucks in the US, and now live in Turin, Italy, the home of Fiat. I don't think Italians view this as an Italian company either. There are constant news articles and protests about how stalantis is moving operations out of Italy. Jeep is strangely popular here though. I think last time I looked at stelantis's numbers, Jeep was the only thing saving them from big big problems.
  • Bd2 Oh yeah, funny how Trumpers (much less the Orange Con, himself) are perfectly willing to throw away the Constitution...
  • Bd2 Geeze, Anal sure likes to spread his drivelA huge problem was Fisher and his wife - who overspent when they were flush with cash and repeatedly did things ad hoc and didn't listen to their employees (who had more experience when it came to auto manufacturing, engineering, etc).
  • Tassos My Colleague Mike B bought one of these (the 300 SEL, same champagne color) new around June 1990. I thought he paid $50k originally but recently he told me it was $62k. At that time my Accord 1990 Coupe LX cost new, all included, $15k. So today the same car means $150k for the S class and $35k-40k for the Accord. So those %0 or 62k , these were NOT worthless, Idiot Joe Biden devalued dollars, so he paid AN ARM AND A LEG. And he babied the car, he really loved it, despite its very weak I6 engine with a mere 177 HP and 188 LBFT, and kept it forever. By the time he asked me to drive it (to take him to the dealer because his worthless POS Buick Rainier "SUV" needed expensive repairs (yes, it was a cheap Buick but he had to shell out thousands), the car needed a lot of suspension work, it drove like an awful clunker. He ended up donating it after 30 years or so. THIS POS is no different, and much older. Its CHEAPSKATE owner should ALSO donate it to charity instead of trying to make a few measly bucks off its CARCASS. Pathetic!
  • RHD The re-paint looks like it was done with a four-inch paintbrush. As far as VWs go, it's a rebadged Seat... which is still kind of a VW, made in Mexico from a Complete Knock-Down kit. 28 years in Mexico being driven like a flogged mule while wearing that ridiculous rear spoiler is a tough life, but it has actually survived... It's unique (to us), weird, funky (very funky), and certainly not worth over five grand plus the headaches of trying to get it across the border and registered at the local DMV.