MultiVersus
Batman and Shaggy standing back-to-back, ready to fight, with other characters in the background
Key art featuring most of the initial character roster
Developer(s)Player First Games
Publisher(s)Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Director(s)Tony Huynh[1]
Composer(s)Stephen Barton
Gordy Haab
Kevin Notar
Edouard Brenneisen
EngineUnreal Engine 4
Platform(s)
Release2022
Genre(s)Fighting
Mode(s)Single-player
Multiplayer

MultiVersus is a 2022 free-to-play crossover fighting video game developed by Player First Games and published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. The game is a platform fighter, featuring characters from Warner Bros. Discovery franchises, and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.

Officially announced in November 2021 following online rumors and leaks,[2] early access and open beta versions of the game released in July 2022.

Gameplay

MultiVersus is a platform fighter, with players battling on different stages and attempting to knock the opponent beyond the stage's boundary by dealing sufficient damage.[3][4][5] While 1-vs-1 and free-for-all options are available, the game emphasizes battling in teams of two characters;[6] most attacks in the game are designed with this in mind, including other players passively strengthening the move's effect.

MultiVersus features a perk system, which allows players to customize their characters with passive abilities that will also affect their partners in Teams. These include Signature Perks, which are exclusive to a respective character and directly affect their attributes and abilities. If players in the same team equip the same perks, those perks' effects are enhanced.

Currencies and Season Pass

MultiVersus features two currencies: Gold, which is primarily used to purchase characters and train perks; and Gleamium, a premium currency that can be used to buy variants, taunts, banners, and Premium Season Passes in addition to characters. Gold is obtained by normally playing the game through various means, while Gleamium is purchasable with real-world currencies. During certain events, specific tokens can be earned by playing in any mode and playing with specific character variants doubles the amount. These currencies can be used to purchase cosmetic items or, in the case of candy during the Monster Mash event, traded for Gold, with 10 Gold for every 500 candy units.

The Season Pass contains two tiers: Normal, which is free for all players; and Premium, which requires Gleamium to purchase. In both tiers, players earn points by completing daily and seasonal missions. Obtainable items include gold, toast and cosmetics such as banners and ring-out effects. Progress in both tiers is tied; if the Premium tier is purchased after progress is made on the Normal tier, all rewards will retroactively be obtained.

Playable characters

As of November 2022, MultiVersus features 23 playable characters.[7] With one exception, Reindog, these characters originate from the intellectual properties of Warner Bros. Discovery. Voice acting is prominently emphasized, and several voice actors reprise their respective roles from other media. Characters can be any one of five classes—Assassin, Bruiser, Mage, Support, and Tank[8]—and are best suited for covering a specific direction, these being horizontal, vertical, or hybrid.[8]

Every character has at least one playable variant, some of which have different voice actors or dialogue from the default variant. Characters can be unlocked through gameplay, or purchased using gold, Gleamium, or Character Tickets included with the Founder's Pack content packages; four specific characters are also playable for all users on a rotating basis.[9][10] The game's open beta initially launched with 17 characters, with new characters frequently added in subsequent updates.

Overview of characters in MultiVersus
Franchise Character Class Voice actor Release date
Adventure Time Finn the Human[5] Assassin Jeremy Shada July 19, 2022
(Early access)
Jake the Dog[5] Bruiser John DiMaggio
DC Universe Batman[5] Bruiser Kevin Conroy
Black Adam[11][12] Bruiser Bob Carter October 31, 2022
(Season 1)
Harley Quinn[5] Assassin Tara Strong July 19, 2022
(Early access)
Superman[5] Tank George Newbern
Wonder Woman[5] Tank Abby Trott
Game of Thrones Arya Stark[5] Assassin Maisie Williams
Gremlins Gizmo[13] Support Daniel Ross September 8, 2022
(Season 1)
Stripe[12] Assassin October 12, 2022
(Season 1)
The Iron Giant Iron Giant[14] Tank Jonathan Lipow July 19, 2022
(Early access)
Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny[5] Mage Eric Bauza
Marvin the Martian Assassin November 21, 2022
(Season 2)
Taz[14] Bruiser Jim Cummings July 19, 2022
(Early access)
Player First Games Reindog[15] Support Andrew Frankel[N 1]
Rick and Morty Morty Smith[16] Bruiser Justin Roiland[N 2] August 23, 2022
(Season 1)
Rick Sanchez[16][17] Mage September 27, 2022
(Season 1)
Scooby-Doo Velma Dinkley[14] Support Kate Micucci July 19, 2022
(Early access)
Shaggy Rogers[1] Bruiser Matthew Lillard
Space Jam: A New Legacy LeBron James[16] Bruiser John Eric Bentley July 26, 2022
(Open beta)
Steven Universe Garnet[1] Bruiser Estelle July 19, 2022
(Early access)
Steven Universe[1] Support Daniel DiVenere
Tom and Jerry Tom and Jerry[1] Mage Eric Bauza[N 3]

Development

The game is developed by Player First Games.[2][4][5] Dedicated servers, rollback netcode, and voice acting have been promoted as prominent features, and the team intend to release new content and characters via constant updates.[6] The game held a closed alpha test from February 25–March 8, 2022.[18]

Background and leak

Prior to its announcement in November 2021, the existence of MultiVersus was leaked and rumoured to exist by multiple sources online.[6] Initially, a user on the subreddit r/GamingLeaksandRumours claimed that the game came about early 2019 as a result of the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Warner Bros. workers being aware of the "Ultra Instinct Shaggy" internet meme. They had claimed the idea of a crossover influenced the filming of Space Jam: A New Legacy,[19][20] although the validity of these claims for both products have yet to be confirmed or denied by Player First Games or Warner Bros.

On October 27, 2021, professional Super Smash Bros. Melee player Juan "Hungrybox" DeBiedma shared an image on Twitter containing what he alleged was the character selection screen for an upcoming Warner Bros. platform fighter called MultiVersus.[21] DeBiedma claimed that he had received secret inside information about the game. The image was later deleted after Warner Bros. submitted a DMCA takedown request, which DeBiedma stated was a "hard confirm" of the photograph's veracity.[22][23] The leak included Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings and Rick Sanchez from Rick and Morty as playable characters instead of Arya Stark and Garnet. Superman and Steven Universe's designs were updated to be shown in the trailer. Jeff Grubb, a gaming insider, confirmed that Space Jam series iteration of LeBron James with would be playable.[24] Internal game design documents for the game were leaked on ResetEra.[25][26][27] Following the tech test, gameplay footage was leaked online.[28]

On May 26, 2022, the same leaker who leaked the game before its announcement revealed that the game had more characters such as Daenerys Targaryen, Ted Lasso, Morty Smith, and Marvin the Martian.[29]

Early access and open beta

An early access version was released on July 19 for those that participated in the game's closed playtests and/or competing in the game's first 2v2 tournament at the 2022 Evolution Championship Series, and via Twitch's Drops reward system and/or purchasable founder packs, which are available for a limited time.[30]

During the 2022 San Diego Comic-Con event, Rick and Morty were both announced together to appear in the game; LeBron James was also announced at the event.[31] Shortly after, the game's open beta was released on July 26, 2022, which was confirmed to serve as a soft launch for the game.[32][33]

The limited-time Founder Pack distribution for PC is done via Steam and Epic Games Store, as well as the Microsoft Store for Xbox consoles and the PlayStation Store for PlayStation consoles. There are three versions: Standard, Deluxe, and Premium.[34]

During the game's open beta period, Bugs Bunny players held the number-one ranked slot in both 1-v-1 and 2-v-2 leaderboards.[35] The character's prevalence among top-ranked 2-v-2 players was notable,[35] and nerfs to the character have been scheduled to be implemented after EVO 2022.[36] Buffs to Wonder Woman were also announced.[37]

The first season of the title was originally scheduled to launch on August 9, 2022, but was delayed and rescheduled for August 15.[38][39]

Patches

Since the game's release, various characters' abilities have been frequently modified.[40] A notable instance is one of Velma Dinkley's abilities; the police car featured in that move was replaced with the Mystery Machine.[41]

Reception

The game received generally positive reviews during its open beta. IGN wrote "MultiVersus may not be a must-play at social gatherings, but its refreshing team-based battles make it a great platform fighter online." Play summarized that it was "full of love for the characters, and crunchy to play, you owe it to yourself to give this a go – though the monetisation methods are off-putting."

Its launch on Steam was the most successful for a WB Games title, and the biggest launch for a fighting game released on the platform.[50]

The game topped the American sales charts for July 2022,[51] falling to number 5 the following month.[52] It was the most downloaded game on the US PlayStation Store for the same month, and number 2 in Europe.[53] It also topped the sales charts in Australia.[54] It was the most popular title on the Steam Deck platform.[55]

By August 2022, the game had reached 10 million players.[56] By September, it had reached 20 million.[57]

Accolades for MultiVersus
Year Award Category Result Ref.
2022 Golden Joystick Awards Best Multiplayer Game Nominated [58]
The Game Awards 2022 Best Multiplayer Game Nominated [59]
Best Fighting Game Won

Notes

  1. ^ Voice lines are currently unused.
  2. ^ Voice lines are reused from various Rick and Morty episodes.
  3. ^ Voice lines are restricted to ring-outs.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e Del Rosario, Alexandra (November 18, 2021). "Warner Bros. Games Confirms 'MultiVersus' Crossover Video Game, Teases Characters From 'Game Of Thrones,' 'Steven Universe' & More". Deadline Hollywood. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Purslow, Matt (November 18, 2021). "WB's MultiVersus Officially Announced, Features Batman, Arya Stark, and More". IGN. Retrieved November 18, 2021. It is set to release in 2022 for consoles and PC, and will be free-to-play.
  3. ^ Cabello, Marcos (November 18, 2021). "Batman can fight Arya Stark and Bugs Bunny in Warner Bros.' MultiVersus". CNET. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Phillips, Tom (November 18, 2021). "Warner Bros. crossover fighter Multiversus officially announced". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j McWhertor, Michael (November 18, 2021). "New fighter MultiVersus is Smash Bros. but with Bugs Bunny, Batman, and Game of Thrones". Polygon. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 18, 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Leblanc, Wesley. "MultiVersus Announced, Will Feature Batman, Shaggy, Bugs Bunny, Arya Stark, Steven Universe, And More". Game Informer. Archived from the original on November 19, 2021. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "Roster". multiversus.com. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  8. ^ a b Michael, Cale (July 19, 2022). "All character classes in MultiVersus explained". Dot Esports. Retrieved August 2, 2022.
  9. ^ "Open Beta FAQ". MultiVersus official site. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  10. ^ "Founder's Pack". MultiVersus official site. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
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  13. ^ "Gizmo officially announced, shown, and delayed for MultiVersus". 2 September 2022.
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