Rory Galvin wraps his head around this baffling decision.
In something that has recently felt like an inevitability, Player First Games has announced that their Smash Bros. competitor, MulitVersus, will be shutting down. The catch, however, is that the game is planning on making a return.
Almost everyone has tried to make a platform fighter that can compete with Nintendo, and in most cases, they all fail. PlayStation, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network have all had high profile flops, and this Warner Brothers clone seems to be no different. MultiVersus launched in a positive state: with a large roster, enjoyable gameplay and free-to-play nature that didn’t appear too greedy initially. Problems did not take long to crop up. General network issues made the game feel laggy in most instances, hits that shouldn’t have connected did (and vice versa) and depending on where your opponent was in the world, it became a slow-moving mess. Player First Games did very little to address this major issue, and it was the main reason why the number of people playing began to drastically fall.
Sure, you could play as Lebron James (yes, you read that correctly), but the lack of modes, maps and general variety made the game feel stale quickly
Content was also a big reason as to why the population of the game is so low. New characters specifically seemed to release quite frequently in the beginning, but everything else was severely lacking. Sure, you could play as Lebron James (yes, you read that correctly), but the lack of modes, maps and general variety made the game feel stale quickly - even if we had new characters to play with. The game also became a treadmill for players to unlock characters and cosmetics. The amount of currency required to unlock every character required grinding match after match for hours - forcing many to pay for tickets to unlock them straight away. It’s not an uncommon practice, but it felt like a carrot on a stick (that was also on a treadmill) to many. Season 3 of the game was delayed by almost two months, with their excuse being to allow more time for players to finish the Battle Pass - and only a few days before the season was supposed to release, the closure was announced.
As of right now, MultiVersus will not receive any more updates, and the servers will be going offline in June, less than a year after its launch. After that, people who own the game will be able to play the offline modes - training and local multiplayer, and nothing else. They say that they are using the time to bolster up content and be prepared for a big relaunch - crediting what they learned from the open beta. Technically, because the game never left this beta phase, nothing in terms of refund policies have been changed; so those who bought, let’s say the €100 ‘Premium Founder’s Pack’, are left with a virtual paperweight until early 2024.
It’s hard to say whether MultiVersus will actually return next year. It was a fun game at launch, but poor management and general lack of communication has people worried. On top of that, Warner Brothers as a company has been cutting costs anywhere it can - and WB Games could be gone before this fighter gets a chance to shine again.